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Its earlier denials to the contrary, clear indications appeared that Russia's military was gearing up for a full-scale ground assault against Chechnya, which is suspected of harboring Islamic insurgents. Up to 50,000 troops and police have been deployed along the Russian-Chechen border, which a senior commander told a news conference were "more than enough" resources for an invasion. Meanwhile, Russian jets hit an oil refinery, a TV complex that was under construction, and a school in the sixth straight day of air attacks against the capital, Grozny.

A mock trial by antigovernment protesters found President Slobodan Milosevic, his wife, and top political allies guilty of ruining the Yugoslav state. But analysts said the demonstration of perhaps 15,000 people in Belgrade, the capital, fell short of the massive turnout of the previous night and so far posed no serious threat to Milosevic, who has survived several previous challenges to his rule. As if to show his lack of concern, Milosevic made a rare public appearance at the official reopening of an oil refinery destroyed early this summer by NATO bombing.

Despite reports that he has lost his grip on power, Indonesia's ruling Golkar Party said its candidate for president in November's election would be the incumbent, B.J. Habibie. His vice presidential running mate is likely to be the controversial armed forces chief, Gen. Wiranto, a Golkar spokesman said. Habibie, who is widely disliked by the powerful military, was viewed by diplomats as little more than a figurehead as Indonesia lost control over the political crisis in East Timor.

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