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Ukraine prime minister quits, clearing way for reformer

Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych resigned Friday, making a grudging admission that he had little hope of reversing the presidential election victory of his rival, a pro-Western reformer.

Yanukovych said he would push ahead with his appeal to the Supreme Court against the election results that showed Viktor Yushchenko as the winner _ though he admitted it seemed futile.

"We are still fighting, but I don't have much hope," Yanukovych said.

Yanukovych has lost much of his support, including the backing of outgoing President Leonid Kuchma and many of his top advisers.

It appeared his resignation was effective immediately.

"I believe it is impossible to have any position in a state that is ruled by such officials," Yanukovych said, in an apparent reference to his former ally Kuchma.

Yushchenko prepared to meet with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, one of his staunchest foreign supporters. Saakashvili, who has displayed his support for the opposition's Orange Revolution by regularly wearing an orange tie, arrived in Kiev Friday.

Hundreds killed, injured in Argentina nightclub fire

BUENOS AIRES _ Emergency exits at a nightclub packed with teenagers were padlocked or wired shut when a flare ignited the foam ceiling, sparking a blaze that killed 175 people and injured more than 700 in one of Argentina's worst disasters, survivors and officials said Friday.

Some 4,000 fans at a Thursday night concert by the band Los Callejeros fought to reach the exits as burning debris fell on them. But at least four escape routes were locked in an apparent effort to prevent people from entering the club without paying, Buenos Aires Mayor Anibal Ibarra said.

Ibarra called the locked doors at the Republica de la Cromagnon disco an "irresponsible act."

The concert crowd reportedly was nearly three times the venue's capacity of 1,500. The club's owner, Omar Chaban, was detained Friday for questioning.

Investigators believe the fire was caused by a flare lit during the concert by a fan. People attending rock concerts in Argentina frequently set off flares and fireworks, and survivors said band members appealed to fans at one point during the show to refrain from lighting fireworks.

At least 714 people were injured, officials said. At least 102 were in critical condition, according to the Buenos Aires emergency services department.

Italian premier hit by tripod, slightly injured

ROME _ A man struck Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi with a camera tripod Friday, giving him a slight bruise but no major injuries, his office said.

Bodyguards and police quickly blocked the assailant after the attack in Piazza Navona, a large bustling square. There was no information on a possible motive.

Police were questioning the assailant, who was a tourist from the northern town of Mantua, the ANSA news agency said.

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