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Zimbabwe's Cholera Death Toll Tops 1,700


The World Health Organization says the death toll from Zimbabwe's cholera epidemic has risen to more than 1,700.

New figures released Tuesday put the number of deaths at 1,732, and the total number of cases at over 34,000.

United Nations officials and Zimbabwe's health ministry have warned the epidemic could get worse as the rainy season develops.

Heavy rains are common in January and February. The waterborne disease, which causes severe diarrhea and dehydration, has spread to all of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces amid a general breakdown in the country's health services.

Efforts to revive Zimbabwe's collapsed economy have been stalled by the impasse in power-sharing talks between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition, which won legislative elections last year.

The sides have been unable to agree on the allocation of key cabinet posts. On Monday, state media reported that President Mugabe would have a new government in place by the end of February. The report quoted unnamed officials saying Mr. Mugabe has had enough of "games from the opposition."

Meanwhile, The Herald state newspaper reported Tuesday the government is increasing yearly registration fees for foreign journalists as well as for local journalists working for foreign media. Those fees were already among the highest in the world.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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