Russia president to work with U.S.

MOSCOW - Russian President Dmitry A. Medvedev yesterday said he was "moderately optimistic" about relations with the United States, saying the Kremlin was prepared to work with whomever succeeds President Bush.

"Russia and the United States are bound to cooperate on a wide range of international issues," Medvedev told a media congress. "We will work with any U.S. administration; there is no alternative to that. Our nations carry enormous responsibility for global order and maintaining peace and stability."

Russian-U.S. relations have been strained over Washington's plans to deploy missile-defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, which the Kremlin sees as a threat to Russia. Washington also has backed plans for NATO to incorporate Russia's former Soviet neighbors, Ukraine and Georgia - a move Moscow fiercely opposes.

- AP

Roadside blasts kill nine in Iraq

BAGHDAD - Five people were killed yesterday when a bomb exploded on a bus in Kadhimiya, a Shiite neighborhood that has been largely controlled by the Mahdi Army, which is loyal to the rebel cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.

Interior Ministry officials said it was not known who was responsible for the bombing, which wounded 10 people.

Also in Baghdad, a roadside bomb exploded as a police patrol drove by. One civilian was killed.

In the northern part of Diyala province, in an area near the Iranian border that is heavily populated by Shiite Kurds, a large roadside bomb exploded, killing three Kurdish soldiers. In Kut, the capital of Wasit province, the morgue received the bodies of two police officers who had been murdered, according to a provincial official.

- N.Y. Times News Service

Canada apologizes to native peoples

OTTAWA - In a historic speech, Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologized and offered compensation yesterday to Canada's native peoples for the longtime government policy - ended in the 1970s - of forcing their children into state-funded Christian residential schools to get them to assimilate.

The treatment of the children, who were often physically and sexually abused, was a sad chapter in the country's history, he said from the House of Commons in an address carried live across Canada. "Today, we recognize that this policy of assimilation was wrong," he said.

Hundreds of the 80,000 surviving former students witnessed what native leaders called a pivotal moment for Canada's one million Indians, who remain the country's poorest group.

- AP

Elsewhere:

Serbian police arrested

one of four war-crimes fugitives wanted by the U.N. war-crimes tribunal. Stojan Zupljanin was a Bosnian Serb police commander who oversaw prison camps during the 1992-95 civil war.