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Archive for Wednesday, April 9, 2003

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April 9, 2003

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Gaza city: Israeli missile blows up car, killing top Hamas commander

A missile fired by an Israeli aircraft blew up a car in Gaza City, killing a top Hamas commander and six other people in an attack that ended a lull in Israeli airstrikes since the beginning of the war in Iraq.

Two Israeli F-16 warplanes flew low over Gaza City after nightfall Tuesday, breaking the sound barrier minutes before a missile slammed into a white Subaru on a street in Gaza City, turning the vehicle into a pile of flaming rubble. A second missile exploded in the street, wounding at least 50 bystanders, witnesses said.

Israeli security sources said the target of the airstrike was Saed Arabeed, 38, a senior Hamas commander responsible for a series of deadly raids against Israelis over the past decade. Two of the other dead were Hamas militants, Palestinians said.

The other dead and wounded were civilians, including children, doctors said. They were hit by shrapnel from the second missile, which exploded after people had run into the street to see what had happened.

New York City: Public comment sought on memorial for WTC site

The public will be asked what it wants in a World Trade Center memorial, but their comments won't be sought on the actual candidates in an upcoming contest to design the site, officials said Tuesday.

The contest will be open to anyone over 18 and the winning design will be selected by a jury sometime this fall, said Kevin Rampe, interim president of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. He said the jury would be assembled soon.

Public comment will be taken at forums, probably held in early summer. No specific dates were given. The contest begins April 28.

The design guidelines, based partly on input from victims' families, and the registration form will be available online at www.renewnyc.org.

Atlanta: State flag change advances

The Georgia House voted Tuesday to change the state flag and set up a possible referendum on the Confederate battle emblem.

If the Senate also approves the bill, Georgia would take down the current flag, which was changed in 2001 to shrink the rebel cross. The replacement flag would feature the state seal on a blue field in the top left corner, with three red-and-white stripes and the words "In God We Trust" to the right.

The new design is similar to the national flag of the Confederacy, rather than the familiar battle flag.

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