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European diplomats appealed to the presidents of Congo and Rwanda Sunday to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe as an estimated 250,000 refugees from around the city of Goma remained out of reach of aid. Rebels led by Gen. Laurent Nkunda have sought to assure those who fled that they may return. But rain and the lack of food, water, and shelter were making conditions miserable. The Congolese and Rwandan presidents appeared cool to any intervention by troops other than the UN peacekeepers who already are unable to provide security. But they've agreed to talks on the matter this week in Nairobi, Kenya.

Survivors of last week's earthquake in southwestern Pakistan pleaded for insulated tents Sunday, saying that continuing aftershocks make returning to their houses too risky. Red Cross officials said villages in Baluchistan Province that haven't been helped are still being discovered. They appealed for $8 million in emergency funds to buy tents, since nighttime temperatures are dipping below freezing.


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