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Archive for Saturday, March 2, 2002

World Briefs

March 2, 2002

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LONDON: Caustic package targets include prime minister

Packages containing a caustic substance disguised as eucalyptus oil were sent to Prime Minister Tony Blair and a Scottish legislator, Scotland Yard said Friday night.

No injuries were reported, but Scotland Yard issued a warning saying similar packages may have been mailed. Police urged people not to open suspicious mail.

Scotland Yard said police were alerted to the packages in an anonymous telephone call from a man who claimed to have sent 16 of them. Authorities said the caller claimed to be a member of the Scottish National Liberation Army.

The nationalist group was formed in 1980, demanding an independent Scottish republic and Gaelic as its national language.

Brazil: Dengue fever outbreak claims at least 23 lives

At least 23 people have died and tens of thousands have become ill in the worst outbreak of dengue fever in Rio de Janeiro in a decade. The epidemic is spreading to other Brazilian cities and even has infected the nation's presidential race.

Heavy rains and layoffs in Rio's dengue prevention program have helped spread the mosquito-borne illness, which had been wiped out in Brazil just a generation ago. By last summer, dengue was in nearly every corner of Rio, from its poor "favelas" to trendy beach communities.

"We are in a state of emergency," said Dr. Flavio Souza.

LONDON: Prince Phillip adds to list of gaffes

No one would ever accuse him of political correctness. In his long career as Queen Elizabeth II's consort, the Duke of Edinburgh has mastered the princely gaffe with ill-considered remarks about Indians, Scots, women and deaf people, among others.

The tongue that spares none struck again Friday. During a tour of Australia to mark his wife's Golden Jubilee, Prince Philip added Aborigines to his verbal hit list when he asked a tribal leader, "Do you still throw spears at each other?"

William Brim, the entrepreneur whom the prince addressed, replied politely that, no, they didn't.

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