World

The leaders of India and Pakistan shared the same table but ignored each other (above) except for a staring match at a regional security conference. Their actions did little to ease tensions between their countries, despite hopes that they might engage in a dialogue over Kashmir. Instead, each accused the other of responsibility for more than 50 years of conflict. They did, however, hold separate discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who invited them both to Moscow, although it wasn't clear whether they'd visit at the same time.

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat ordered a militant wanted by Israel kept in jail despite a court order that he be freed. He also presented a plan for reforming his security services to visiting CIA Director George Tenet that would halve their number and impose tighter supervision. The moves would leave Arafat in control of security, however, and Israeli critics said they were therefore cosmetic.

A fourth straight night of street fighting between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast, Northern Ireland, grew out of parties celebrating Queen Elizabeth II's golden jubilee. Nineteen security officers and five other people were hurt as both sides exchanged gunfire and battled hand-to-hand. Police warned that "it is only a question of time before somebody is killed" unless tensions ease.

An intense manhunt was under way near Thailand's border with Myanmar (Burma) for three gunmen who forced a bus carrying teen-agers to school to stop, then fired on it. Six students died in the attack; 15 others were wounded. Tensions have been spiraling upward in the area for weeks, with the governments of the two countries accusing each other's forces of shooting across the boundary. Myanmar's junta has warned Thailand against helping ethnic rebels operating in the area.

At least six more people were reported dead in the latest fighting in Madagascar as forces sent by newly inaugurated President Marc Ravalomanana clashed with those still loyal to the office's other claimant, Didier Ratsiraka. The violence occurred over control of a northern province, one of four that support Ratsiraka. Ratsiraka, who held the presidency for 20 years, has refused to yield to Ravalomanana. The latter controls only the capital and one other province.

An angry President Bakili Muluzi ordered residents of Malawi to ignore a court order overturning his ban on demonstrations for or against a third term in office. He said he'd instruct the Army and police to enforce the ban, calling the High Court's ruling "irresponsible." Church leaders in the impoverished country have announced plans for public protests Friday against another five-year term for Muluzi, who's constitutionally barred from succeeding himself but whose party is campaigning to amend the charter.

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