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Secretary Rice Seeks To Ease U.S.-Russia Tensions

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday that while Russia and the United States were going through a period of uneasy relations, the problems fell far short of those of the Cold War and that the two countries continued to cooperate in a number of important areas.

"Russia is not the Soviet Union, so this is not a U.S.-Soviet relationship," Rice said, speaking en route to Moscow and meetings with President Vladimir V. Putin and senior Russian officials.

"We don't have a relationship that would be anything like the relationship that we had with the Soviet Union," she added.

The carefully tempered remarks, reflected in a transcript released by the State Department, signaled an effort by the United States to ease some of the public tensions between Moscow and Washington that have grown during the second terms of Putin and President Bush.

Both men are nearing the end of their terms, a period in which Russian confidence and influence have grown. Rice is to meet with Putin at the Kremlin on Tuesday.

Chrysler Group to Be Sold For $7.4 Billion

DaimlerChrysler confirmed Monday that it will sell a controlling interest in its struggling Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management of New York, a private equity firm that specializes in restructuring troubled companies. The price being paid is $7.4 billion, mostly in the form of capital that Cerberus will put into Chrysler.

The deal unwinds a 1998 merger that was meant to create a trans-Atlantic automotive powerhouse.

The agreement will leave DaimlerChrysler, of Stuttgart, Germany, with a 19.9 percent stake in Chrysler. DaimlerChrysler will change its name to Daimler AG. It will be freed of a great amount of pension and health care liabilities in the new Chrysler company.

Cerberus will take an 80.1 percent stake in the new company, to be known as Chrysler Holding.

With the deal, Chrysler becomes the first of the big Detroit automakers to be privately owned. The prospect of private ownership had alarmed Chrysler's labor unions, which had come out strongly against the sale of the company, fearful that an investor might try to break up the company or seek deep cuts in wages and benefits.

U.S. Soldier Killed in Pakistan During Border Dispute

An American soldier was shot dead and four other Americans were wounded in Pakistan on Monday after a meeting between Afghan, Pakistani and NATO officials at the border to try to resolve recent clashes between the neighboring countries, Afghan and NATO officials said.

The soldiers were ambushed by "unknown assailants" near Teri Mangal, on the Pakistani side of the border, after leaving the meeting and heading back toward Afghanistan, a statement from the NATO force in Afghanistan said. Two of the wounded were civilians and two were servicemen, it said. Teri Mangal lies less than two miles from the Afghan-Pakistani border. Afghan officials said that the dead and wounded were Americans.

Four Pakistani soldiers who were escorting the Afghan and NATO team were also wounded, and one later died of his wounds, Pakistani officials said. The military spokesman blamed "miscreants," a term often used for militants in the tribal areas.