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WORLD BRIEFS


BRAZIL: Fire ruins Carnival clothes

A fire Monday gutted warehouses holding many of the elaborate, feather-and-sequin costumes and extravagant floats for Rio's Carnival parade, destroying the dreams and hard work of thousands of Brazilians who toil year-round to stage one of world's most spectacular celebrations. Seamstresses, set designers and musicians watched in tears as firefighters struggled to control the blaze that raged through four warehouses. The fire devoured about 8,400 outfits and the ornate sets built each year in the battle to be the city's top samba group. Three hours into the early-morning blaze, the flames were controlled, but some of the top contenders and up-and-comers in next month's Carnival parade were knocked out of the competition. "Do you know what it feels like to work all day, into the night, to make this happen, and then this?" said Graziela Goncalves Carvalho, a seamstress with Uniao da Ilha do Governador, one of the groups that appeared to have suffered heavy losses. "It's over. There's nothing. This Carnival is over for us."


THAILAND-CAMBODIA: Border strife continues

Thailand accused Cambodia of refusing to negotiate to resolve a border dispute that led to the fourth straight day of fierce clashes Monday, as Phnom Penh said that only UN peacekeepers can stop the fighting near an 11th century temple. Cambodia says the crumbling stone temple, a World Heritage site, has been heavily damaged by artillery fire over four days. The exchange of cross-border fire is highly unusual among members of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and has raised tensions in a region known for its stability. Preah Vihear temple, in northern Cambodia, several hundred feet from the border with Thailand, has fueled nationalism in both countries for decades and conflict over it has sparked sporadic battles in recent years. A one-hour clash Monday morning stopped after both sides agreed to an unofficial cease-fire. Fighting has erupted daily since Friday, leaving seven dead and dozens wounded.


PHILIPPINES: Retired general shot dead

A former military chief implicated in a corruption scandal has died of a gunshot wound, the Philippines health secretary said Tuesday. Health Secretary Enrique Ona said retired Gen. Angelo Reyes was pronounced dead on arrival in a Manila hospital from a single gunshot wound in the chest. Ona refused to confirm that Reyes had committed suicide, saying he was awaiting autopsy results. Reyes headed the military from 2001 to 2003 and was recently accused in a high-profile congressional hearing of pocketing money from the armed forces.


RUSSIA: Claim in airport bombing

A website affiliated with Chechen rebels has released a video in which insurgent leader Doku Umarov claims responsibility for last month's deadly suicide bombing at Russia's largest airport. The Kavkaz Center website said it received the video late Monday.

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