- The Washington Times - Monday, March 3, 2003

GAZA STRIP
Israeli tanks strike against refugee camps
GAZA CITY Israeli tanks moved into the Nusseirat and Bureij refugee camps in the central part of the Gaza Strip early today, witnesses said, killing seven persons and destroying two houses.
The incursion followed pledges by Israeli officials to crack down on militants of the violent Islamic Hamas group. Witnesses said the focus of the incursion was the Bureij camp, where soldiers blew up two houses after demanding that residents leave.
Palestinians said at least two of those killed were civilians a 14-year-old boy who was shot and a woman whose house collapsed from the force of the blast next door. Residents said dozens of people wounded by Israeli gunfire were lying untreated in the streets.

BRAZIL
Troop presence lets Carnival continue
RIO DE JANEIRO Army tanks, 3,000 troops and 35,000 police officers patrolled Rio's streets yesterday for the start of the city's glittering Carnival parades.
Security was tight after four persons were killed and dozens of cars and buses torched last week in violence blamed on drug gangs.
Few reports of violence involved the revelers themselves. One exception was an American tourist shot in the leg yesterday in a traffic dispute.

IRAN
Hard-line candidates sweep local elections
TEHRAN Hard-line candidates swept to victory in local Iranian council elections, the Interior Ministry announced yesterday, a reflection of public discontent with reformers' inability to initiate serious social and political change in this conservative Islamic state.
Voter turnout was high in many cities and villages throughout the country except in the capital, Tehran, where a meager 10 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, the ministry said.
Hard-liners, who had not won in local elections in eight years, took 14 of the 15 fixed seats open on the Tehran City Council.
Three leading reformists were elected as standby members in Tehran in case any of the 15 winners failed to claim a seat.
Even before final results were announced, reformists conceded defeat but said the ruling establishment should note the significant decline in voter turnout.

BRITAIN
Spear that killed Capt. Cook for sale
LONDON The spear used by a native Hawaiian to kill British explorer Capt. James Cook will be auctioned off in Scotland later this month.
Edinburgh-based auction house Lyon and Turnbull said yesterday it expects the spear, which was fashioned into a walking stick and passed down through the family of one of Cook's fellow naval officers, to be sold for up to $3,200.
Cook made the first known Western contact with Hawaiians in 1778. Cook, 50, was killed on the island of Hawaii on Feb. 14, 1779, on his third expedition to the Southern Hemisphere, during which he discovered the Cook Islands, Christmas Island and some of the smaller Hawaiian islands.
William Bligh a navigation officer who later became captain of a mutinous crew on HMS Bounty initially recovered the spear.

EGYPT
Bibliotheca Alexandrina damaged by fire
ALEXANDRIA A fire broke out yesterday in the sleek new Alexandria library, sending thick smoke swirling through the building that opened to international fanfare in October.
The fire, which lasted about 45 minutes, appeared to have been caused by a short circuit in the fourth-floor administrative area of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, on the waterfront site of what was the most renowned library of the ancient world.
Authorities evacuated the 11-story building, and 29 persons were taken to hospitals for treatment for smoke inhalation.
The library, founded in about 295 B.C. by Ptolemy I Soter, burned in the fourth century.

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