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We analysed the green-line coronal intensities (530.3 nm, Fe xiv), both their time-latitudinal distribution as well as the coronal index of solar activity (CI) over the period 1996–2002. Maximum values of the CI (smoothed) were observed in mid-August 2001, even though the ‘first’ peak was observed in the period January–April 2000. The maximum of the Wolf number occurred in 2000, April – July, and the ‘second peak’ occurred in December 2001–March 2002. Both indices have a similar course in the cycle, but their maxima are shifted by 1.5 year. There was high correlation between CI and Wolf number, the 2800 MHz radio flux, the X-ray 0.1–0.8 nm flux and cosmic-ray flux. The CI values in present cycle 23 are lower than those of the two former solar cycles 21 and 22 by about 1/3. Polar branches, which separated from the principal equatorward branch at mid-latitudes in the cycle minimum, 1996, reached the poles around 2000. The new principal branch for cycle 24 split in 2001, turned over around ± 60° in 2002.5 and moves to the equator, where it will end in 2019. Minimum between cycles 23 and 24 will occur around 2007.5, cycle maximum 24 around 2012.5. Poleward branches in cycle 24 will reach the solar poles in 2011.