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BUENOS AIRES — President Fernando De la Rua was granted special powers by the Senate to battle the worst recession to hit Argentina in a decade.

East Timor

DILI — After quitting East Timor's interim legislature in a bitter dispute over the shape of a new constitution, independence leader Xanana Gusmao said he will not compete in the nation's first presidential election.


LONDON — Prime Minister Tony Blair met farming leaders to discuss whether to vaccinate some dairy cattle against foot-and-mouth disease — a move some say could build a bulwark against the fast-spreading epidemic but which others dismiss as a dangerous distraction.


BERLIN — An oil tanker collided with a freight ship off northwest Germany, spilling about 1,900 tons of oil into the Baltic Sea, authorities said.


JAKARTA — Senior politicians warned President Abdurrahman Wahid that discontent with his erratic 17-month rule was so intense he had little chance of surviving much longer in office.


TOKYO — An appeals court said the Japanese government need not pay three Korean women compensation for forcing them into wartime sexual slavery as no serious constitutional violations occurred. The Hiroshima High Court overturned a 1998 district court ruling that ordered the government to pay a total of $7,260 to the women who were forced to provide sex to Japanese soldiers during World War II.


NAIROBI — Four more students have died of burns suffered when a gasoline-fueled fire swept their dormitory, bringing the death toll in Monday's fire to 64.

NAROK — Two Tanzanians were sentenced to death for robbing 29 American tourists in 1999 who were on their way to visit Kenya's Masai Mara game reserve.


VADUZ — Prince Constantin of Liechtenstein, a cousin of the former ruler of the Alpine principality, died Wednesday, the royal family said. He was 89.


VILNIUS, March 29 — The Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center said it had submitted to the U.S. Justice Department a list of 31 suspected Lithuanian Nazi collaborators living in the United States.


OSLO — Helge Ingstad, an explorer who proved that Vikings reached North America 500 years before Columbus, died Wednesday at 101. Ingstad, a lawyer and author, led a string of expeditions to the wildernesses of Alaska, Canada and Greenland and spent years as a fur trapper and trader.


ISLAMABAD — A tornado roared through eastern Punjab province Wednesday, killing four people, injuring dozens more and destroying 100 homes, a government official said.


A Singapore court sentenced seven members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement to four weeks in jail for obstructing police and gave the maximum fine to eight others for holding a rally without a permit.


MADRID — Officials blamed the separatist group ETA, which has stepped up its armed campaign ahead of regional elections, for two small bombs that exploded overnight in the northern Basque region. No injuries were reported.


KIEV — A reactor at Ukraine's Zaporizhia nuclear power plant was briefly shut down following a short circuit, officials said. No radiation leaks were reported.


HANOI — Nineteen people have gone on trial accused of involvement in a five-year robbery and rape rampage in the Mekong Delta, official media reported.