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In Tejeda, a mountainous and wooded area in the center of Gran Canaria Island, 180 firemen backed up by five water-carrying helicopters battled a fire that had already charred more than 2,000 acres.

Weekly notes

Vidmantas Urbonas, a Lithuanian former triathlete, abandoned his attempt to become the first person to swim across the Baltic Sea yesterday after breaking off the journey the day before due to stormy weather. But he said he was satisfied, since his goal was to attract the world’s attention to its environmental problems. The 1998 world ultra-triathlon champion started on July 22 from Kalmar in southeast Sweden and was heading for Pavilosta in southwest Latvia, about 130 miles away. … A northern bottlenose whale that swam into a river near the eastern English town of Ipswich was killed by veterinarians yesterday after it became stranded, an official said. … Police in Italy are searching for a phony priest who conducted funeral services before making off with hundreds of dollars left by mourners in the collection plate, the London Daily Telegraph reported. Father Marco, as he called himself, told genuine priests at a series of cemetery chapels in Sicily that he had been asked by the families of the deceased to carry out the service. To add to the woes of those involved, the fake services are invalid in the eyes of the church.

From wire dispatches and staff reports