News in Brief

Access for OSCE Monitors

KARALETI, Georgia -- International military monitors gained brief access to a Russian-imposed buffer zone adjacent to South Ossetia on Thursday for the first time since the Georgia-Russia conflict last month.

Two vehicles carrying monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe leave the zone through a Russian checkpoint 30 kilometers inside Georgia proper. (Reuters)

Ukraine Closer to Polls

KIEV -- Ukraine moved closer to early elections Thursday after President Viktor Yushchenko's party rejected a call by the prime minister to return to the ruling coalition of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's bloc and Yushchenko's Our Ukraine party, which collapsed Wednesday.

Under the constitution, if the parties do not work out their differences and the parliament does not create a new coalition within 30 days, Yushchenko can call an election. (Reuters)