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Hard-line President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe dismissed calls from other African leaders to cancel Friday's runoff election, saying, "We are sticking to our law." He said he was open to proposals from the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, whose leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pulled out of the runoff. Heavy preelection violence has produced international condemnation and calls for the runoff to be scrapped or at least postponed. Mugabe's counterpart in South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, refused to join that chorus Thursday, however. He has said he sees no political crisis in Zimbabwe and insisted that negotiations alone would lead to a resolution of the problem.

Another Palestinian rocket fell on a kibbutz in southern Israel Thursday, causing no injuries but further undermining the shaky cease-fire between the Jewish state and Hamas. Responsibility for the attack was claimed by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, which said the truce must include the West Bank. Hamas has indicated that while it is bound by the week-old agreement, it will not confront other militants who violate the truce.


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