- The Washington Times - Monday, February 24, 2003

COLOMBIA
Troops battle rebels holding 3 Americans
BOGOTA U.S.-trained Colombian troops closed in yesterday on Marxist guerrillas holding three U.S. Defense Department contractors, killing three of the rebels in "very heavy" fighting, the army said.
"According to intelligence reports, we know that it is the same guerrilla column that kidnapped the three Americans," a Colombian army officer said.
Troops from a U.S.-trained anti-drug battalion killed the three rebels and retrieved their bodies. The troops are part of a 4,000-strong force hunting for the Americans who were seized when their light aircraft crashed in southern Colombia on Feb. 13.

SOUTH KOREA
Subway officials detained for blaze
SEOUL Seven subway officials were detained by police today in the investigation of the fire last week that killed at least 133 people in an underground station at Daegu, authorities said.
The officials were detained as authorities waited for a court to issue arrest warrants, said Lt. Choi Woong-ju of Daegu police. It was not known when the court would act. The officials are expected to face charges of criminal negligence.
The fire Tuesday in South Korea's third-largest city injured 146 people, and officials say an estimated 300 people still are missing.

ARMENIA
Protesters defy ban to denounce poll result
YEREVAN Thousands of protesters defied a ban on public rallies and gathered yesterday in the capital of former Soviet republic Armenia to denounce presidential election results giving incumbent Robert Kocharyan a big lead going into a runoff.
The crowd, smaller than a 25,000-strong rally on Friday, poured into the square in front of Yerevan's history museum a day after police rounded up opposition members.
Opposition leader Stepan Demirchyan, second in the opening round of voting last week, urged his supporters to remain within the law. "We will achieve our aims strictly through legal means," he said.

PAKISTAN
Shops, cars damaged by Shi'ite mourners
KARACHI Enraged mourners smashed cars and shop windows yesterday during a funeral procession for two victims of a massacre at a local Shi'ite mosque in this southern port city.
About 5,000 people gathered in central Karachi for the prayer session for two men killed Saturday when gunmen opened fire at the Imam Bargha Mehdi mosque, a Shi'ite house of worship near the city's airport. Seven others, many of whom had moved to Karachi from cities in northern Pakistan, also were killed. Their bodies were being sent home for burial.
No group has claimed responsibility for the killings, but suspicion has fallen on Sunni extremist groups that often target members of the country's Shi'ite minority.

ISRAEL
Newton forecast found for end of the world
JERUSALEM Sir Isaac Newton predicted that the world will end in 2060, a TV network said, based on a document from a Jerusalem archive.
Newton's somber prediction was unearthed by a Canadian researcher as part of a British Broadcasting Corp. documentary, "Newton: The Dark Heretic."
In a statement promoting the program, to be aired March 1, the BBC said it will show a handwritten Newton document predicting the end of the world in 2060, according to calculations he made based on the Bible. The network said the document was found in a Newton collection in the Jewish National and University Library in Jerusalem.


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