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IN BRIEF

Canada doubles its aid contribution

TORONTO -- The Canadian government yesterday doubled its aid contribution after Asia's devastating tsunamis and promised to speed existing visa applications for those from the region wishing to join family living in Canada. Prime Minister Paul Martin, dismissing criticism he should have broken off his Christmas vacation to coordinate Canada's contribution to the rescue efforts, said the country would now contribute $67 million. That was up from the $33.5 million promised Wednesday and well above an initial $3.3 million pledge. (Reuters)

SRI LANKA

Some surrender after prison release

COLOMBO -- About 100 prisoners who were released from their Sri Lanka cells to escape the tsunamis have voluntarily surrendered. Two hundred others remain at large, and it was not known whether they had survived, prison authorities said yesterday. About 100 other prisoners were taken from Matara prison to another lockup before the waves hit. (AP)

THAILAND

Elephants pitch in to clear out debris

BANG NIENG -- A year ago, they were filming battle scenes for the movie "Alexander." Now six elephants are pitching in to help with the massive cleanup from the tsunamis that devastated many of Thailand's prime tourist destinations.(AP)

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