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World

September 15, 2008



In convoys, Russian troops and armored vehicles pulled back from positions they'd taken deep inside the Republic of Georgia following this summer's fighting. The withdrawal appeared to ensure that a commitment to leave by Monday would be met. But Georgian leaders complained that more than 1,000 Russian soldiers remain at 19 other encampments and said they, too, must withdraw to prewar positions. Instead, the Kremlin has said it intends to tighten its grip on the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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Police in New Delhi would not confirm reports that they've arrested 10 suspects for a series of bombings Saturday night that an Islamist group said it had caused. The explosions, mostly in crowded shopping areas, killed at least 21 people and wounded 97 others. The blasts followed a similar pattern to those in July in Gujarat State that killed 45 people. In May, a third set of bombings in Jaipur killed 61.

Emergency rule was halted Sunday by acting Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat of Thailand because, "If we continue, it could damage the economy." He said the measure had served only to scare away tourists. Somchai urged all parties in the dispute over his predecessor, Samak Sundaravej, to compromise when parliament meets this week to choose a full-time successor. Samak was renominated last week by his party after being ousted by the courts, but he later withdrew.

An "oil war" was declared Sunday by militants in Nigeria's delta region following attacks on their base camp by federal troops. But it was unclear whether the declaration by the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) would lead to full-scale conflict since neither side has demonstrated that it wants one. MEND said seven of its fighters were killed in the attack Saturday and that some of its 22 hostages being held at the camp were hurt.

Soldiers were patrolling a state capital in Bolivia after President Evo Morales declared martial law to try to control weeks of antigovernment violence. At least 30 people were reported dead from a clash last Thursday in Cobija between his supporters and backers of Pando State's Gov. Leopoldo Fernandez. Other state governors who also oppose the leftist president were due in Cobija later Sunday for a show of solidarity with Fernandez, whom the government has vowed to arrest. Morales called for a defense of his socialist agenda and said, "If we don't emerge victorious, we have to die for the country."

Inspection teams fanned out across China's dairy-farming regions Sunday to look for links to tainted milk powder that has killed at least one infant and made hundreds of others ill. The government blasted the company that produced the powder for delay in warning consumers of the problem. A New Zealand cooperative that invests in the company said it had urged a recall of unsold powder six months ago. But a recall wasn't ordered until late last week.

Alitalia, the troubled national airline of Italy, reportedly was unable to guarantee that it would be able to offer flights after Sunday night because "no one will supply us" with fuel. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was expected to summon union leaders back to emergency meetings on the matter after all-night talks Saturday made no progress. The unions are balking at a plan for investors to buy profitable parts of the carrier because it would result the loss of thousands of jobs.

Would-be rescuers found no survivors after the crash of a Russian passenger jet early Sunday as it prepared to land at Perm, a city 750 miles east of Moscow. Eighty-eight passengers and crew members were aboard the plane, a Boeing 737. Another Boeing 737 crashed on takeoff Aug. 24 from the former Soviet republic of Kyrgyzstan, killing 64 people.

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