World Briefs

RUSSIA

Police clash with anti-Putin demonstrators

MOSCOW — Police clashed Tuesday on a central Moscow square with about 100 demonstrators trying to hold a second day of protests against alleged vote fraud in Russia’s parliamentary elections.

Pro-government United Russia supporters also rallied late Tuesday at Revolution Square near the Kremlin. State television footage showed a crowd appearing to number in the thousands.

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party saw a significant drop in support in Sunday’s election, but it still will have a majority in parliament. Opponents say even that watered-down victory was due to massive vote fraud.

SYRIA

Clinton meets with Syrian opposition

GENEVA — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton held a rare meeting on Tuesday with Syrian opposition figures.

Mrs. Clinton told a group of seven Syrian pro-reform activists that she wanted to hear their plans to set up a democratic government if they succeed in prying President Bashar Assad from power.

Her invitation was a step short of endorsement but a clear sign the U.S. wants to work closely with those who might assume leadership roles.

“Obviously, a democratic transition is more than removing the Assad regime. It means setting Syria on the path of the rule of law,” she told the activists, who are exiles in Europe.

Tuesday’s meeting marked the second time Mrs. Clinton has held an in-person session with opposition members.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan opens bids on gold, copper deposits

KABUL — Afghanistan opened bids Tuesday on billions of dollars’ worth of copper and gold deposits in four areas of the country that together are roughly half the size of the Grand Canyon.

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