- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 20, 2004

BRITAIN

Conan Doyle papers fetch $1.7 million

LONDON — Thousands of personal papers belonging to Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle fetched $1.7 million at an auction yesterday, with many items sold to private U.S. collectors.

Christie’s Auction House had expected the archive of letters, notes and handwritten manuscripts to raise more than twice that amount. Of the 135 lots on offer, 31 failed to meet their reserve price and remained unsold.

The archive also became entwined in a mystery worthy of Conan Doyle’s fictional detective: The bizarre death of a leading Holmes scholar.

Lancelyn Green, 50, was found dead in his bed March 27, garroted with a shoelace tightened by a wooden spoon and surrounded by stuffed toys.

IRAN

THOUSANDS PROTEST DAMAGE TO SHRINE

TEHRAN — TENS OF THOUSANDS OF IRANIANS, SOME THROWING STONES AND FIREBOMBS, RALLIED YESTERDAY OUTSIDE THE BRITISH EMBASSY TO PROTEST DAMAGE TO ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT SHI’ITE MUSLIM SHRINES IN IRAQ.

THE DEMONSTRATION WAS THE LARGEST IN A SERIES OF PROTESTS HELD OVER THE LAST FOUR DAYS IN PREDOMINANTLY SHI’ITE IRAN, WHICH IS STRONGLY OPPOSED TO THE U.S.-LED COALITION’S PRESENCE IN IRAQ. PROTESTERS BURNED U.S. FLAGS AND EFFIGIES OF PRESIDENT BUSH AND BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR.

THE IMAM ALI MOSQUE IN NAJAF RECEIVED FOUR HOLES IN ITS GOLDEN DOME DURING FIGHTING LAST WEEK BETWEEN U.S. SOLDIERS AND MILITIAMEN LOYAL TO THE RADICAL CLERIC MUQTADA AL-SADR.

AL-SADR LOYALISTS BLAMED THE AMERICANS, WHILE WASHINGTON SAYS THE CLERIC’S FIGHTERS WERE PROBABLY RESPONSIBLE.

BRITAIN

BLAIR HIT WITH POWDER IN PARLIAMENT HOUSE

LONDON — A PROTESTER FROM THE GALLERY HURLED PURPLE POWDER ON PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS YESTERDAY, FORCING AN EVACUATION AND AN URGENT REVIEW OF SECURITY.

THE POWDER WAS ONLY CORNSTARCH, REPORTEDLY PACKED IN CONDOMS. IT WAS A MAJOR SECURITY BREACH IN THE COMMONS, WHICH RECENTLY PUT UP A BULLETPROOF, TRANSPARENT SCREEN TO PROTECT MEMBERS FROM ATTACKS FROM THE PUBLIC GALLERY.

FATHERS 4 JUSTICE, A GROUP THAT CAMPAIGNS ON CHILD-CUSTODY ISSUES, CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY AND SAID RON DAVIES, 44, OF WORTHING, HURLED THE CORNSTARCH.

HONG KONG

LAWMAKERS DEFEATANTI-CHINA MOTION

HONG KONG — HONG KONG’S LEGISLATURE YESTERDAY DEFEATED A MOTION CONDEMNING A RULING BY CHINA’S PARLIAMENT THAT BARRED EARLY DEMOCRATIC REFORM FOR THE CITY DESPITE RESIDENTS’ ASPIRATIONS FOR GREATER DEMOCRACY.

THE DEBATE MOTION, THE LEGISLATURE’S FIRST TO TARGET CHINA’S PARLIAMENT, HAD BEEN PUT FORWARD BY PRO-DEMOCRACY LAWMAKERS TO EXPRESS REGRET AND DISSATISFACTION OVER THE DECISION BY THE COUNTRY’S PARLIAMENT, THE NATIONAL PEOPLE’S CONGRESS.

LEBANON

MISSING ISRAELI AIRMANARAD REPORTED DEAD

BEIRUT — ISRAELI AIRMAN CAPT. RON ARAD, MISSING FOR 17 YEARS, IS DEAD AND LEBANON’S HEZBOLLAH GROUP HAS HIS REMAINS, BEIRUT-BASED SOURCES CLOSE TO PRISONER-EXCHANGE TALKS BETWEEN THE GUERRILLA GROUP AND ISRAEL SAID YESTERDAY.

ONE ARAB SOURCE TOLD REUTERS NEWS AGENCY HEZBOLLAH ALSO HAD THE REMAINS OF THREE ISRAELI SOLDIERS WHO WENT MISSING BUT WERE PRESUMED KILLED IN A BATTLE IN EAST LEBANON IN 1982.

CAPT. ARAD, AN AIR FORCE NAVIGATOR, DISAPPEARED AFTER HIS PLANE WAS SHOT DOWN OVER LEBANON IN 1986.

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