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Canada confirms 2nd positive mad cow test

Canada confirmed Sunday that a second cow has tested positive for mad cow disease, just days after the United States said it planned to reopen its border to Canadian beef.

An older dairy cow from Alberta has tested positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, otherwise known as mad cow disease, according to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

The results confirmed preliminary tests released last week.

The border was closed 19 months ago when a cow in northern Alberta was found to have mad cow disease. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that the border could open in March.

The Bush administration said Thursday that it would stand by its decision to renew Canadian cattle imports beginning in March. Canadian officials said the United States was aware of the suspected case before Wednesday's announcement.

U.S. soldier, Afghan

killed in clash

KABUL, Afghanistan _ A U.S. soldier and a former Afghan militia leader were killed Sunday when American troops clashed with gunmen while searching the leader's compound in western Afghanistan, U.S. and Afghan officials said.

Meanwhile, an American aid worker escaped an apparent kidnap attempt by a group of gunmen in the capital, Kabul.

The troops came under attack from "an unknown number of enemy forces" while searching a compound near Shindand Airfield in Herat province and returned fire, a U.S. military statement said.

Croatian chief forced

into runoff Jan. 16

ZAGREB, Croatia _ Croatia's pro-Western president failed to win an outright majority for re-election on Sunday, forcing him to face a runoff vote against the conservative government's candidate Jan. 16.

President Stipe Mesic, 70, had 49.03 percent of the votes _ just short of the majority needed to give him a second term, the state-run Electoral Commission said after more than 99 percent of the votes were counted.