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In a pomp-filled ceremony in Moscow, new Russian President Dmitri Medvedev accepted his oath of office, bringing to an end eight years of rule by Vladimir Putin. But less than three hours later, Medvedev nominated his predecessor for the post of prime minister, reinforcing the view of some analysts that he'll exert little independence in his new office. In his acceptance speech, Medvedev said his top priorities would be to ensure "civil and economic freedom" and to strengthen Russia's role in international affairs.

Both major political parties in Zimbabwe challenged results of the March 29 vote for seats in Parliament, opening a new front in their bitter dispute. Official tallies had given the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) control of the legislature for the first time, a determination that appeared to be upheld by a partial recount last month. But President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF movement filed petitions claiming irregularities in 53 races. The MDC countered by challenging 52 races. The moves do not affect the election for president, which also is disputed.


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