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At WTO Talks, Chance for Deal 'Hopeful'


With the final hours of the World Trade Organization talks ticking away in Hong Kong, there are signs members may salvage the organization's credibility by agreeing to a deal.

WTO spokesman Keith Rockwell says delegations are examining a second draft of a global free trade deal on Sunday afternoon. He adds there could be an agreement to end six days of talks.

"I'm hopeful," he said. "Given the consequences, if we fall short [of a deal], I'm hopeful. And, well, we'll see."

The 149 WTO members are trying to push forward wide-ranging free trade goals set forth four years ago. Delegates say an agreement by the European Union to set 2013 as a deadline for ending export subsidies helped to give the talks a push forward.

Hong Kong police are preparing for another evening of protest marches, which could intensify along with signs of a deal. Police fired tear gas after anti-WTO demonstrators broke through barricades and came within a few dozen meters of the meeting venue Saturday night.

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