Three new species of fish and nine species of coral new to science have been discovered in the waters around the African island country of Madagascar.

Madagascar, the strife-torn Indian Ocean island nation of 15 million people, is by all indications poised to split into two parts unless another reconciliation meeting takes place soon. The split, which looks imminent, comes two weeks after a peace deal brokered in Dakar, Senegal promised a solution to a presidential impasse that has divided the island.

The international community on Monday was
cautious in their show of support for Madagascar's new president, Marc
Ravalomanana. Although several western diplomats were present at the inauguration
ceremony, most sent consular officials rather than ambassadors, news reports
said. The guarded approach was seen by analysts as the "most appropriate response"
to the unresolved political row between Ravalomanana and veteran leader, Didier Ratsiraka.

Madagascar's High Constitutional Court has ruled that challenger Marc Ravalomanana won the presidency in December's election. The court said Monday that its recount showed Ravalomanana's KMMR party gained 51.46% of total ballots cast against 35.9% for Ratsiraka's Arema party. Four other candidates shared the remainder of the votes.

Madagascar's rival presidents, Didier Ratsiraka and Marc Ravalomanana, held separate late-night talks Tuesday in Senegal as President Abdoulaye Wade and other African leaders urgently tried to prevent the political stalemate turning into full-scale war.