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U.S., Russia to push for nuclear treaty approval

The United States and Russia agreed Tuesday to press for international ratification of a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty, though it does not fully satisfy either of them.

The agreement was an effort to break a negotiating stalemate as a deadline approaches for completion of the long-sought treaty.

The Comprehensive Test BanTreaty, which has been under negotiation for more than 18 months, would outlaw any nuclear testing anywhere in the world. The United States, Britain, France and Russia have already ended testing, and China has said it will end its tests in September.

Diplomats had been concerned that disagreements among the five nuclear powers about the conditions under which it could take effect would slow its adoption.

2 more Japanese die from food poisoning

TOKYO _ The food poisoning outbreak gripping Japan struck again Tuesday, killing a schoolgirl and an 85-year-old woman. That brings the death toll to seven.

The deaths came as the number of cases grew to more than 8,400. Government officials vowed to step up efforts to trace the cause of the outbreak and teach residents how to prevent further infections.

E. coli O157 bacteria is particularly dangerous to children and the elderly, who are vulnerable to hemolytic uremic syndrome, a deadly complication that causes kidney failure, bloody diarrhea and severe dehydration.

Officials are still not sure what foods are spreading the bacteria.

Asians reject

sanctions for Burma

JAKARTA, Indonesia _ Asian officials expressed deep concern Tuesday about human rights abuses in Burma, but rejected a U.S. proposal for economic sanctions to punish its military rulers.

Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said no country came to Burma's defense during private meetings at the four-day meeting of the seven-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

Still, ASEAN _ which last weekend gave Burma observer status, the last step before full membership _ rejected sanctions as a response to abuses it called an internal matter for Burma.

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