- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 2, 2003

ISRAEL
Israeli tanks enter Gaza neighborhood
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Israeli tanks entered a neighborhood in the Palestinian city of Khan Younis in southern Gaza today and advanced on a hospital, witnesses said.
About 15 tanks, accompanied by attack helicopters, entered the neighborhood, called the Austrian project, and knocked down the exterior wall around Mubarak Hospital on the outskirts of the city.
Two Palestinians were wounded in exchanges of gunfire with Israeli soldiers, hospital officials said. The Israeli military confirmed that an operation was in progress in the area, noting that Palestinian militants have been carrying out attacks in the area recently.

POLAND
Government falls over tax plan
WARSAW The left-leaning government that has ruled Poland for just more than a year collapsed yesterday after an emergency meeting between coalition partners broke down in a bitter dispute sparked by a new tax plan.
Prime Minister Leszek Miller said he will ask President Aleksander Kwasniewski to dissolve the coalition and withdraw two Peasant Party ministers from the government.
He said his formerly communist Democratic Left Alliance party would try to rule as a minority government, seeking to revive the sagging economy, if the divided parliament does not force him from office.

TAIWAN
Tourist train derails on mountain, killing 17
TAIPEI A train filled with tourists ran off a bridge near one of Taiwan's most popular mountain resorts yesterday, killing 17 persons and seriously injuring 102, officials said.
As crews raced to airlift the injured from the island's central Ali Mountain, a rescue helicopter crash-landed near the scene. There were no serious injuries aboard the aircraft.
Ali Mountain is one of Taiwan's most popular tourist spots. The Japanese built the narrow-gauge railway when they ruled Taiwan from 1895 to 1945. The rail line, which opened in 1912, was designed to haul lumber from the mountains but is now mostly used by tourists.

RUSSIA
At least 11 killed in plane crash
MOSCOW At least 11 persons died in western Russia yesterday when a light plane carrying mainly parachute jumpers crashed near a small village, the Emergencies Ministry was quoted as saying.
The Czech-built L-410 plane came down near the village of Barki in the Tver region, about 110 miles north of Moscow Itar-Tass news agency said.

SYRIA
First national vote under reformist rule held
DAMASCUS Syrians will cast ballots today to select 250 parliamentarians to represent them in the first legislature elected under the rule of reform-leaning President Bashar Assad, who assumed power in 2000.
Many analysts expect the new house to help speed up the pace of economic and political reforms, but they expect little change in the composition of the legislature, which is dominated by the ruling Ba'ath party.
Since he succeeded his late father, President Hafez Assad, the Western-educated ophthalmologist has introduced much-needed economic reforms and allowed a measure of political tolerance.

KUWAIT
Man with mortar shell held near U.S. site
KUWAIT CITY A Kuwaiti man was arrested yesterday with an empty mortar shell near a resort hotel where the U.S. military has set up a press center, police said.
Police arrested the man after finding the rusting mortar shell in the trunk of his car at a checkpoint near the Hilton Kuwait Resort, about 20 miles south of the capital, an Interior Ministry official said.
It was not immediately clear why the unidentified man, an engineer, had the shell. Many Kuwaitis have illegal weapons and ammunition collected after the 1991 Persian Gulf war, which ended a seven-month Iraqi occupation of their country.

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