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Chemicals cited for exploding watermelons

BEIJING — Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating what state media called fields of "land mines."

Prices over the past year prompted many farmers to jump into the watermelon market. All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time, CCTV said in the report broadcast Monday night.

Chinese regulations don't forbid the drug, and it is allowed in the U.S. on kiwi fruit and grapes. But the report underscores how farmers in China are abusing both legal and illegal chemicals.

People stuffed in trailers in Mexico

TUXTLA GUTIERREZ, Mexico — Police in Mexico's southern Chiapas state found 513 people on Tuesday inside two trailer trucks bound for the United States, and said they had been transported in dangerously crowded conditions.

Some of the people were suffering from dehydration after traveling for hours clinging to cargo nets strung inside the containers to keep them upright as the trucks bounced along from the Guatemalan border.

The trucks were bound for the central city of Puebla, where the people said they had been told they would be loaded aboard a second set of vehicles for the trip to the U.S. border.

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