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Violent clashes on sidelines of APEC summit

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Violent clashes on sidelines of APEC summit
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There have been violent clashes marking the opening of the APEC summit in south Korea. Riot police used water cannon to disperse protestors.

The demonstrators gathered in Pusan, South Korea’s second largest city where the summit is underway, to protest against globalisation, liberalisation and the presence of US forces in South Korea. They were led by farmers angry at plans to liberalise the domestic rice market – reforms which, they claim, threaten their livelihoods. Meanwhile, the leaders of 21 Pacific Rim economies which account for nearly half the world’s trade are gathering for two days of talks. Top of the agenda is the Doha trade round. Talks have stalled over the European Union’s refusal to make further cuts in import tariffs on farm goods if developing countries do not offer more market access. World leaders will also be addressing a range of issues including the global fight against bird flu and terrorism. US president George W Bush and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are meeting for the fifth time this year. They will be discussing, among other issues, Iran’s nuclear programme and Moscow’s bid to join the World Trade Organisation.