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U.S. TROOPS were taking up positions at a Russian military training site Thursday to begin a week of joint exercises with Russian soldiers. . . . ALMOST 150 people have been evacuated from the flood-devastated Koyukuk River Valley in Alaska as the river surged to record levels. . . . AN ASIAN elephant has become the first of its species to give birth to live twins in captivity, though one of the babies later died at the Washington Park Zoo in Portland, Ore. . . . TYPHOON Gladys battered Taiwan Thursday with 78 mph winds, killing six people and setting off landslides and widespread power disruptions.