Burma has opened a three-day World Buddhist Summit, which has been marred by the pull-out of its main sponsor. Burmese Prime minister General Soe Win opened the gathering of monks, officials and other delegates from several countries today in Rangoon. Burma's military leader, Senior General Than Shwe, made a brief appearance, while Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and Lao Prime Minister Bounnyang Vorachit also attended the opening ceremony.
President Bush has signed a law normalizing U.S. trade relations with Laos. The law is part of a 300-page bill the president signed last Friday with virtually no publicity from the White House. The bill says Lao has cooperated with the United States in battling terrorism, combating the drug trade and accounting for U.S. servicemen still missing from the Vietnam War.
Ukraine's opposition has ended a blockade of government buildings, hours after parliament adopted a series of electoral reforms and outgoing President Leonid Kuchma signed them into law. The move allows many government employees to return to work for the first time in weeks.
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