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A power-sharing agreement between Zimbabwe's rival political parties is "not far off," a leading newspaper in neighboring South Africa reported Tuesday. Johannesburg's Star said the deal would make opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai prime minister and would turn longtime President Robert Mugabe's post into a ceremonial one. South African leader Thabo Mbeki is mediating the negotiations.

Police in South Korea's capital twice turned water cannon on unruly demonstrators protesting the stopover there by President Bush Tuesday on his way to China. But tens of thousands of others turned out in support of the US leader's visit.

NATO sought to ease the growing tensions in the South Ossetia region of Georgia, where at least six people died in clashes late last week. A spokeswoman for the alliance said it was unaware of any buildup of Georgian troops there despite an accusation by the Kremlin that Georgia had used "excessive force" against separatist elements. Special Kremlin envoy Yuri Popov said Russian citizens live in the conflict zone and their government will not "remain indifferent" if violence continues. Georgia, a NATO ally, claims that Russia is backing the separatists.

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Twenty-six new laws were decreed by leftist Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Monday in the final hours of the 18-month period for which he was granted special power by the National Assembly. The measures angered business leaders, who argued that voters had rejected them last December in a referendum on the proposed new Constitution. Among other features, they allow the government to restrict the import, distribution, and sale of basic items, with violators subject to long prison terms and indefinite closure of their businesses.

A government of national unity will be formed by Nepal's four main political parties, news agencies reported Tuesday. They said the participants agreed in principle that the coalition will be led by the former communist rebels. The move represents an about-face for the communists, who said less than three weeks ago that they wouldn't serve in any coalition government after their candidate for the post of president was defeated.

Opposition leaders in Angola claimed they've spotted a loophole in the pledge by President Jose Eduardo dos Santos of national elections every four years following next month's vote for a new parliament. The opponents complained that election law and government regulations make it difficult for them to access the pool of money promised for campaign funding. Africa's No. 1 producer of oil has been wracked by civil war and has not held an election since 1992. Angolans are not scheduled to vote for a new president until next year.

Another strong earthquake shook the same region of western China Tuesday where an estimated 70,000 people were killed and more than 4 million others were left homeless in May. The new quake, measured at 6.0 on the open-ended scale, was blamed for at least one death and 23 injuries. Runners carrying the Olympic torch had left the area, the last stop on its relay tour before the Summer Games open in Beijing, only hours before the quake struck.

A new census has found 125,000 previously unknown gorillas deep in the forests of the Republic of Congo, wildlife researchers said Tuesday. The discovery is "very significant," a spokeswoman said, because disease and hunting by predators were thought to have reduced the number of lowland gorillas to as few as 50,000. Still, all gorilla species are classified as endangered and some in central Africa are being pushed toward extinction.

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