Polls Open across Egypt

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CAIRO (AFP) - Polls opened across Egypt on Sunday for a parliamentary election expected to strengthen the ruling party's grip in the most populous Arab nation but overshadowed by a crackdown on the Islamist opposition.Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. (2 p.m. in Manila) and are due to close at 7 p.m. (1 a.m. Monday in Manila), with around 41 million Egyptians eligible to vote.The first results are expected on Monday. The ruling National Democratic Party is widely expected to win a solid majority of the 508 elected seats and to make further gains when President Hosni Mubarak fills the 10 remaining seats with his appointees.Much attention is focused on the Muslim Brotherhood, the only serious organised opposition, which is predicted to win far fewer seats than the fifth of parliament it secured in the last election in 2005.Turnout in the country of 80 million people is likely to be low, with polls traditionally greeted with general apathy.5 ELEPHANTS FOUND DEADJAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - Five endangered Sumatran elephants have been found dead in Indonesia, and conservationists said Sunday that they suspect farmers poisoned the animals to stop them from damaging crops.The elephants, four females and one male all under the age of 5, were found dead late Friday in Riau province on Sumatra island, said Edi Susanto, a government conservationist.Susanto suspects that owners of nearby palm oil plantations used cyanide to poison the animals, which are known for damaging crops.He said an investigation is under way and samples from the dead elephants have been sent for analysis.4TH BLAST HITS COAL MINEGREYMOUTH, New Zealand (AP) - A fourth explosion in nine days has ripped through a New Zealand coal mine where the volatile conditions have prevented recovery of 29 miners' bodies. …