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World datelines

Afghanistan

FAISABAD — A U.N. envoy called for an end to 21 years of war in Afghanistan as opposition fighters brought home their dead after recapturing a key central town from the dominant Taliban movement.

Armenia

YEREVAN — Thirteen people went on trial Thursday for involvement in the 1999 assassination of Armenia's prime minister, parliamentary speaker and six other officials in a brazen attack on the parliament building.

Bangladesh

DHAKA — Police and protesters fought running battles in Bangladesh's capital on Wednesday as yet another national strike called by the opposition brought the city to a virtual standstill, witnesses said.

Canada

TORONTO — Canada's Supreme Court ruled Thursday that two Canadians accused of a triple murder in the United States can only be extradited with a guarantee they won't be put to death.

Chad

N'DJAMENA — The architect of a landmark $3.5 billion oil pipeline deal in Chad, backed by the World Bank as a development tool, has died along with two others in a plane crash.

China

HONG KONG — In Hong Kong's biggest political shuffle since returning to China in 1997, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa Thursday named the territory's financial secretary as head of its civil service.

Congo

LUSAKA, Zambia — Rebels and government leaders from around Africa opened a summit Thursday on how to end the 2 1/2-year war in Congo, but Rwanda refused to participate and diplomats said the pullout could further hinder a limping peace process.

England

SOUTHEND — A truck driver who was sending a mobile-phone text message when he struck and killed a pedestrian at the side of a road was sentenced Wednesday to five years in prison.

France

PARIS — French Environment Minister Dominique Voynet said Thursday she intends to leave the government this summer to devote herself to bolstering her Green Party and to prepare for elections.

Germany

FRANKFURT — Hans-Joachim Klein, a former terrorist, was convicted Thursday and sentenced to nine years in prison for a 1975 attack on an OPEC meeting in Vienna after a trial that focused attention on some German leaders' radical past.

India

NEW DELHI — India on Thursday signed a deal reportedly worth $600 million to buy and assemble 310 Russian T-90 tanks.

Indonesia

JAKARTA — Thousands of supporters of beleaguered Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid gathered in two East Java towns on Thursday in a further warning to political rivals trying to oust the Muslim cleric.

Mexico

MEXICO CITY — A Cuban diplomat was shot to death in Mexico City Thursday, apparently after resisting an attempt to steal his car.

Russia

MOSCOW — Russia said on Thursday it had set in motion plans for long-awaited cutbacks of its troops in rebel Chechnya but gave few details.

Turkey

DIYARBAKIR — Thirteen children and youths ages 9 to 17 appeared in court in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday on charges of abetting Kurdish guerrillas.

Ukraine

KIEV — An opposition alliance says it is uncowed by the arrest of one of its leaders on corruption charges as the country's political tensions spiraled.

United Arab Emirates

DUBAI — Dubai will soon decide on a Saudi request to extradite a Briton suspected of illegal alcohol trading and of links to a Briton said to have confessed to bomb attacks in Saudi Arabia, a newspaper said.