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Bush Announces $350 Million Tsunami Aid Package


President Bush has pledged $350 million to help victims of Asia's tsunami as the death toll across a dozen nations approaches 125,000.

Mr. Bush said in a statement Friday that American assessment teams in the devastated region believe the need will steadily increase in the days and weeks ahead. He says the United States will continually revise its aid contributions as needs become clearer.

In New York, Secretary of State Colin Powell and United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan meet Friday to discuss relief efforts before Mr. Powell's trip to the disaster zone on Sunday.

Meanwhile, aid workers are rushing to prevent the spread of disease among millions of tsunami survivors. They say illnesses like cholera and typhoid could double the overall death toll.

Ships from the United States and other countries are heading to the region, and airlifts continue to bring supplies and experts. But delivery remains difficult. In Sri Lanka Friday, torrential rains have added yet another obstacle.

Meanwhile, world leaders will gather in Indonesia next week for an emergency coordination summit. European leaders are also trying to arrange a summit later in January.

Some information for this story provided by AP and Reuters.

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