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US plans to build a strategic missile-defense system will be tied to new negotiations on reducing nuclear-weapons stockpiles, President Bush and Russia's Vladimir Putin agreed on the sidelines of the Group of Eight (G-8) conference in Genoa, Italy. National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice is to fly to Moscow tomorrow to open discussions on sketching out an agreement with Russian officials on a new security framework. If the discussions go well, Putin said, Russia "might not ever need" to follow up on his vow to tear up all other arms-control pacts even if the US scraps the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which Bush says is outdated.

To try to avoid a repeat of the violent protests that marred the G-8 summit as well as other recent global conferences on trade and economics, next year's get-together will be held at a small resort in the Canadian Rockies, host Prime Minister Jean Chretien announced. The word came as police in Genoa tried to head off a final day of trouble via a preemptive raid on protesters' headquarters, arresting almost 100 people and confiscating weapons and tools. Above, a protester surrenders to police.

A second "important announcement" by President Abdurrahman Wahid was being awaited in Indonesia, following an earlier declaration on national TV that only a new election could resolve the deepening political crisis. Wahid said, however, he wouldn't resign despite impeachment efforts by parliament or obey a summons to appear before legislators today. Meanwhile, thousands of soldiers and armored vehicles paraded in Jakarta in a massive show of force after bombs exploded at two Christian churches, injuring at least 64 people.

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Heavy new fighting between ethnic-Albanian insurgents and government troops broke the 17-day cease-fire in Macedonia, casting doubt on tentative plans to resume peace negotiations today. Only one casualty was reported in the clashes 20 miles west of Skopje, the capital. Albanian negotiators pulled out of the talks last Thursday. But under Western lobbying over the weekend they reportedly indicated they were willing to return.

More rain was predicted for sodden Orissa state in eastern India, where massive flooding already is blamed for at least 58 deaths, the displacement of millions of other people, and heavy damage to 1.5 million acres of farmland. Local officials said the impoverished state still was coming to terms with the ravages of the October 1999 cyclone, which killed about 10,000 people.

A onetime prime minister whose coalition government fell in 1997 won a return to power in Nepal. Sher Bahadur Deuba will succeed G.P. Koirala, who resigned under pressure last week. He defeated Koirala's nephew, Sushil Koirala, in a vote of legislators from the ruling Congress Party.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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