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Taylor promises to quit but doesn't say when

Charles Taylor, the guerrilla leader who became president and was then indicted as a war criminal, announced on Sunday that he would leave his country and accept refuge in nearby Nigeria.

Taylor did not say when he would go, but he dangled his earlier promise to step aside once an international force arrives in this country to monitor a cease-fire between his forces and the rebels who have sought to topple him.

Gay Anglican declines

appointment as bishop

LONDON _ An openly gay clergyman whose appointment as a bishop divided the Anglican church has decided not to take up his post, the Church of England said Sunday.

The church's spiritual leader, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, said the decision by the Rev. Jeffrey John should give Anglicans "pause for thought."

John declined the post of bishop of Reading in a letter to Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries, who appointed him. John wrote he made the decision because of "the damage my consecration might cause to the unity of the Church, including the Anglican Communion."

Operation to separate

conjoined twins begins

SINGAPORE _ Neurosurgeons performing a dangerous operation to separate Iranian sisters joined at the head grappled today with rerouting a vein as thick as a finger that helps blood flow through the twins' brains.

An international team of five neurosurgeons probed the brains of 29-year-old Ladan and Laleh Bijani as a crucial phase began in a historic operation expected to last two to four days, said a spokesman for Singapore's Raffles Hospital.

After bombings, Putin

cancels Asia trip

MOSCOW _ Russian President Vladimir Putin canceled a trip to Asia on Sunday after suicide bombings a day earlier that killed 15 people at a rock concert, an attack that could further erode the Russian leader's attempts to stabilize war-torn Chechnya.

Authorities said they would step up security at shopping centers, theaters and other public places in Moscow in response to attacks carried out by two suicide bombers Saturday outside a music festival in the suburb of Tushino.

The Russian government Sunday revised the number of bystanders killed in the attacks to 13 from 14. The two bombers also died in the explosions.

PEACEFUL PARADE: The Protestant Orange Order marches Sunday outside Portadown, Northern Ireland. A British army barricade kept marchers out of a Catholic area; they responded peacefully.

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