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At least three people died as new violence erupted in the capital of volatile East Timor, where pro- and anti-independence supporters were bracing for Monday's crucial referendum on the province's political future. Many others were hurt following a rally in favor of remaining allied with Indonesia. Meanwhile, Indonesia's justice minister said jailed separatist leader Xanana Gusmao would be released Sept. 15 for his "proactive cooperation in the settlement of the East Timor problem."

A potential showdown loomed between would-be reformers and the Congress of Venezuela. The latter vowed to reconvene today in defiance of a move by President Hugo Chavez's Constitutional Assembly to strip it of lawmaking powers and most other duties. Congressional leaders say the assembly lacks the authority to intervene in the legislative branch of government. Chavez, who led a failed military coup in 1992, says a major shakeup of public institutions is necessary to root out decades of bad government.

Local delegations of Serbs and Albanians met for the first time in the key Kosovo town of Orahovac, where Russian peacekeeping troops were prevented for a fourth day from taking up assigned posts. While the session was described as inconclusive, military sources said the Serbs apologized "in their own name for what other Serbs did to Albanians here" and that "both sides are considering future solutions."

Hard bargaining opened between UN negotiators and the government of Cambodia over how to conduct genocide trials for senior Khmer Rouge leaders in the latter's custody. …


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