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In Brief: 14 dead after fire in Istanbul

A FIRE engulfed a tent used as a dormitory for workers at an Istanbul construction site late yesterday, killing 14 people, a local official said.

The workers were staying in a giant tent at the construction site of a supermarket, said Necmi Kadioglu, the mayor of Istanbul's Esenyurt district.

"We suspect that the fire might have originated from an electrical heater," Mr Kadioglu said. Turkey's state-run television reported the fire might have been sparked by a short circuit.

Republican battle hots up

The leading Republican presidential hopefuls focused their campaigns on the Deep South, with polls showing a tight three-way contest in tomorrow's pivotal primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

For Rick Santorum, a strong showing in both states could enable him to finally establish himself as the main challenger to front-runner Mitt Romney.

Mr Santorum nudged rival Newt Gingrich to step aside, arguing a head-to-head contest between himself and Mr Romney should "occur sooner rather than later".

Airstrikes kill 2 Gaza militants

The Islamic Jihad militant group says two of its members have been killed in Israeli airstrikes in the southern Gaza Strip.

The militant group said in a statement that the two were hit early today, in the fourth day of the worst exchange of fire between Israel and the territory in months.

The Israeli military says it carried out eight air attacks against rocket-launching sites and a weapons storage facility.

Israeli police, meanwhile, say 11 rockets were fired into southern Israel.

Offer smaller drinks, pubs told

Pubs have been urged to offer drinks in schooner-sized glasses -- two thirds of a pint -- after new research showed that younger people would prefer the measurement.

A study by brewer Molson Coors showed that 18 to 34-year-olds preferred the price and ease of consumption, suggesting they wanted to "break from tradition".

The Australian-style schooner measure has been available since last year.