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Already, tensions between India and Pakistan are easing, Secretary of State Powell said on arriving in New Delhi for the next phase of his mission to promote a diplomatic solution to their standoff over Kashmir. Powell credited India's leaders for responding positively to Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's crackdown on Islamic militants, telling CBS the standoff no longer is "as dangerous as it was a weekend or two ago." Home Minister L.K. Advani appeared to go further than any other Indian leader in calling Musharaff's actions "path-breaking," and his government announced it now is open to dialogue with Pakistan's leaders. (Related stories, pages 6, 7.)

With the US diplomatic mission in Afghanistan returning to embassy status for the first time since 1989, Powell also pledged a "significant" American financial contribution to help rebuild the shattered country. His stop-over in Kabul, which preceded the trip to India, was the first by a secretary of state in 25 years. A conference aimed at collecting pledges of aid to Afghanistan is scheduled for next week in Tokyo. (Related story, page 1.)

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New blockades of West Bank cities were imposed by Israeli tanks after a rash of killings by Palestinian militants and warnings that more attacks were imminent. And without offering specifics, an Army commander said Israeli forces could "be led to return" to West Bank and Gaza Strip areas from which they withdrew under the 1993 Oslo accords. Other pressure also mounted against Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as a militant group threatened the lives of his security chiefs if arrests of its chiefs are not halted.

Stock trading resumed for the first time in almost a month in financially troubled Argentina. But share prices immediately fell by 6 percent, and the chief of the central bank quit, apparently over the new government's monetary policies. Roque Maccarone had held the vital post for less than a year after being appointed by now-ousted President Fernando de la Rua. Meanwhile, police searched airport freight terminals and the offices of foreign banks for evidence that billions of dollars were being smuggled out of the country. Above, depositors vent their anger at being unable to access their savings accounts in a Buenos Aires bank.

Because he "resumed the criminal activities of harassing and intimidating law-abiding citizens," Nigeria's top labor leader was arrested for the second time in two days, police said. But the strike called by his Labor Congress, while still inconveniencing thousands of people, showed signs of cracking. The shutdown, called to protest an 18 percent increase in fuel prices, has been ruled illegal by the courts.


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