LONDON (AP) -- Chess has a new world champion after 15 years of domination by Garry Kasparov, who had fought off five previous challengers with his bold, brilliant moves and intimidating stares.
Vladimir Kramnik, 25, lifted the crown Thursday from his former mentor and fellow Russian with a title-clinching draw in game 15 of their match. The match finishes Saturday with a meaningless 16th game.
Kasparov, 37, who had puzzled spectators with his untypically tentative play, blamed his defeat on poor preparation.
Kramnik claimed the winner's two-thirds share of the $2 million prize put up by braingames.net, an Internet start-up company.
Two Palestinians killed
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli troops shot and killed two Palestinians as confrontations erupted Friday in several West Bank and Gaza Strip towns despite calls for restraint from Israeli and Palestinian leaders hoping the latest cease-fire effort would take hold.
Friday's violence erupted following Muslim midday prayers.
One Palestinian was killed in Tulkarem and one in Hizme, both in the West Bank. Confrontations elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza Strip left dozens injured, hospital doctors said.
A Thursday car bomb that killed two Israelis in Jerusalem and firefights in Palestinian territories came only hours after a cease-fire was reached and threatened to destroy the agreement. During the past five weeks of fighting, such outbursts have often touched off retaliatory violence.
Yet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak struck a conciliatory note Friday.
"We will persevere in our efforts for peace and we will devote all our strength to it," the prime minister said. "We are strong enough to stand on both fronts: the battle for peace and the struggle against violence and terror."
Lawmakers abandon Estrada
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- The heads of both houses of Congress resigned from the ruling party Friday, the most senior lawmakers to abandon President Joseph Estrada amid growing support for his impeachment over a corruption scandal.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Manuel Villar quit Estrada's LAMP party, the latest in a flurry of resignations. Villar said he would back an impeachment complaint against the president in the House and expected 45 other LAMP lawmakers to do so as well.
Drilon urged Estrada to resign to end the political crisis and prevent a further deterioration of the economy. "We should spare the Philippine people needless suffering," he said.
Allegations by a provincial governor that Estrada pocketed more than $11.4 million from illegal gambling operators and tobacco taxes have thrown Philippine politics into turmoil and have had a devastating effect on Manila's financial markets.
"The crisis has already escalated to the point of threatening a paralysis in government and the collapse of the economy," Villar said.
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