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Russia Signs Georgian Cease Fire Agreement


GEORGIA DIPLOMACY: Russian President Dmitri Medvedev has signed a cease-fire agreement aimed at helping bring an end to hostilities with neighboring Georgia. A Kremlin spokesman made the announcement today. Earlier, Russia's foreign ministry said it had received a copy of a cease-fire document. It said it was identical to the one already signed in Moscow by separatist leaders from the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili signed the cease-fire after meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Tblisi on Friday.

GEORGIA: Georgian officials have accused Russia of bombing a key railway bridge hours before Moscow officially signed a cease-fire agreement. Georgia's foreign ministry says today Russian forces blew up the bridge in the Kaspi region, west of the capital of Tbilisi. During a news conference today in Moscow, Russian General Anatoly Nogovitsyn dismissed the allegation as a "completely unverified statement." Witnesses and officials say Russian troops continue to stand guard today around the key, war-battered city of Gori.

ZIMBABWE: Zimbabwe's political rivals are expected to resume talks in South Africa today on the sidelines of a regional summit. Zimbabwe's protracted political crisis is high on the agenda for the 14-nation Southern African Development Community summit in Johannesburg. Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and the leaders of the two opposition factions, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara are all attending the meeting. Earlier this week, three marathon sessions failed to produce a power-sharing deal among the three.

IRAQ: Iraqi police say six people have been killed in the latest bomb targeting Shi'ite pilgrims heading to Karbala for a religious festival. They say today's car bombing in Baghdad also wounded at least nine people. The pilgrims were making their way to Karbala, where hundreds of thousands of people descended on the city for a festival marking the birth of the Shi'ites' 12th and last Imam. Iraqi authorities have tightened security in and around Karbala, deploying more than 40-thousand police and soldiers during the festival.

OLYMPICS - CHINA: A Chinese Olympic official has acknowledged that organizers of last week's opening ceremony faked a portrayal of ethnic minority children, in the latest controversy involving the lavish celebrations. Olympic organizers had previously said the children were from China's 56 officially recognized ethnic groups. But Beijing Olympic organizing committee deputy director Wang Wei on Friday acknowledged that was not true. Wang said it was normal for performers to portray different ethnicities.

OLYMPICS WRAP: U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps has won his seventh gold medal at the Beijing Games - in perhaps his closest race - to tie Mark Spitz's record for gold medals at a single Olympics. Phelps won the 100 meter butterfly today by one one-hundredth of a second over Serbia's Milorad Cavic. Phelps was in seventh place as he came to the turn in the two-lap event. The race was so close the Serbian swimmer lodged a protest with the Olympic committee.

KASHMIR - PROTEST: Tens of thousands of Muslims took to the streets of Indian Kashmir today to mourn the death of a separatist leader. Protesters traveled from Kashmir's main town Srinagar to the hometown (Pampur) of Sheikh Abdul Aziz who, along with 21 others, was killed by police this week in street battles. Police kept their distance from today's demonstration to avoid triggering another clash. On Friday, thousands of Muslims protested India's rule over Kashmir after authorities lifted a curfew following days of violent demonstrations.

LAOS - FLOODS: Officials in Laos say at least four people have been killed as record high water levels on the Mekong River triggered flooding and landslides in the capital. Officials say the four deaths occurred in Vientiane, where residents and the government are working to build a two-and-a-half meter high wall of sandbags. The wall is being used to protect the center of the city from the record-high water levels. The water surge is also expected to affect Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam as it moves downstream. The Thai News Agency reports that more than one-thousand houses in northeast Thailand's Nong Khai province were flooded.

Listen to our World News for details.

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