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MEXICO CITY — A moderate earthquake measuring 5.9 on the open ended Richter scale rocked central Mexico early today, swaying buildings in the capital, but the national Civil Protection service said no damage had been reported nationwide.


SUVA — Military-backed Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said he would consider giving nationalist rebel supporters a larger role in his government if it would resolve the country's nine-week long political crisis.


KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia's highest court will hear on Aug. 1 an appeal by jailed former finance minister Anwar Ibrahim to make Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad testify at his sex trial, which has just ended.


MADRID — Police seized a stockpile of explosives in the Basque region just hours after defusing a bomb in southern Spain amid an intensifying campaign of violence blamed on Basque separatists.


TOKYO — Several earthquakes shook the Tokyo area today, including a predawn 6.1-magnitude earthquake that prompted the shutdown of a nuclear reactor as a cautionary measure. There were no immediate reports of injuries.


BEIJING — Falun Gong followers pressed their protest campaign against China's year-old ban on the sect today, meditating and chanting slogans in Tiananmen Square and drawing a swift, often rough response from police. One man shouted "Falun Gong is good." until police grabbed him and, when he refused to climb into a van, they jerked his hair and shoved him inside.


VICTORIA, British Columbia — British Columbia's attorney general filed a petition with the Canadian province's supreme court to determine whether the ban on same-sex marriages is constitutional.


CHISINAU — Parliament in Moldova overturned President Petru Lucinschi's veto and rammed through a law ending country-wide presidential elections in the former Soviet republic.

Solomon Islands

HONIARA — Cease-fire talks between rival militias engaged in a deadly 19-month conflict foundered after three rebel leaders failed to show up. But a spokesman for one group said he was optimistic the discussions would start back up Monday.


STOCKHOLM — Rivers in central Sweden swollen by weeks of heavy rain in the mountains washed away summer houses, roads and railway embankments on today.


ULAN BATOR — The government declared the country free of the deadly foot-and-mouth disease, but officials said severe drought now threatened livestock, dealing a new blow to the impoverished country.


CANBERRA — The government said it has arrested two staffers of a national intelligence agency for allegedly attempting to sell classified documents to a foreign embassy.


SRINAGAR — Security forces in Kashmir have widened their search for a German tourist abducted by unidentified militants, police said.


GUATEMALA CITY — At least three masked men wielding assault rifles shot and killed a Guatemalan Indian peasant leader and his secretary near a tourist destination, police say.


BOGOTA — Clashes between leftist rebels and rival militias left at least 22 people dead Thursday, most of them rightist paramilitary fighters, local officials and clergy reported.