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     plunge down a sheer 90-m drop. As we gingerly progress along the concrete look-out path, the spray from

     the waterfall drenches us thoroughly. It is a thrilling experience, enhanced by the view of the Argentinian

     rainforest across the river, the flirtatious company of an amazing variety of butterflies that court us all the

     way and the friendly overtures of a quati, a kind of tropical raccoon. The trail leads to a community centre

     equipped with a souvenir shop and a dining plaza, where visitors can pause for refreshment and a breather.

     Here, work is in progress for setting up a panoramic elevator and an environment building which will, when

     complete, offer a breathtaking view of a semi-circle of 275 falls spanning a stretch of 2,700 m. In fact, the

     first European to be blessed with the beautiful sight was the 16th-century Spanish adventurer, Alvar Nunez

     Cabeza de Vaca, who named it after the Virgin Mary. But the local guarani name, I-Guacu (grand water),

     seems to have survived. An option for the intrepid is the Macuco Safari, a thrilling boat tour that takes you

     all the way to the point where the falls hit the water below. And if you can afford the expense, a 10-minute

     helicopter tour that costs $ 60 per head offers you a stunning aerial view of the entire area. During our visit

     to the Itaipu Hydroelectric Power Plant, a joint venture on the Parana river between Brazil and Paraguay

     that is regarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern

     world, we stop by at the eco-museum and take in a documentary film on the genesis and completion of the

     whole project. It demonstrates how cooperation between neighbouring countries can be mutually beneficial

     for both. As does a visit to the site itself, where the reservoir has been converted into a lake and offers

     ample scope and facilities for all kinds of aquatic sports. It is time for us to head back to Sao Paulo from

     where we will be making our way home. Entering the airport at Foz do Iguacu, we notice that it is named

     after an Indian guru - Sri Chinmoy! It certainly dispels the habitual gloom that surrounds most departures.

     How to get there: Air India operates daily flights to London and New York from where connections are

     available on Varig to Sao Paulo. Flights are available from Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to Iguacu. The

     alternative is to avail of the super express bus service to Iguacu via Curitiba. Climate: It's a topsy-turvy

     world, where people enjoy spring and summer between October and January. Light summer clothes ensure

     maximum comfort. The Indian summer months become winter in South America when light woollens are

     required. Language: Unlike in other South American countries, Portuguese is the lingua franca. Visitors

     unfamiliar with the language are advised to hire for the duration of the trip a certified Embratur guide fluent in English. ____________________________________________________________________________________

AMOnline

 Kofi Annan concerned by increasing civilian casualties

    [This is the print version of story http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2003/s817545.htm]

27 March , 2003 08:23:23

LINDA MOTTRAM: United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, has also expressed his growing concern about the  humanitarian situation in Iraq, particularly in light of the attack on the Baghdad marketplace.

    Mr Annan spoke to reporters in New York during a break in UN negotiations over the proposed Oil for Food Program for  post-war Iraq.

    KOFI ANNAN: I'm getting increasingly concerned by humanitarian casualties in this conflict. I've just heard the reports that a  missile struck a market in Baghdad, and I would want to remind all belligerents that they should respect international  humanitarian law and take all necessary steps to protect civilians. Besides, they are responsible for the welfare of the civilian population in the area.

_________________________________________________________________________________________

Experts See Iraq War Damaging Ecology, Health

 Wed Mar 26,11:45 AM ET

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