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    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian warplanes bombed rebel-held areas near Damascus on Thursday as President Bashar Assad's troops battled opposition fighters for control of a strategic road that links the capital with the main airport.

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    PARIS (AP) — A Frenchwoman who spent seven years in prison in Mexico on kidnapping charges returned to a hero's welcome in Paris on Thursday, declaring she had been cleared by the Mexican court that ordered her freed.

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    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea's top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States.

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    CAIRO (AP) — Two years after Egypt's revolution began, the country's schism was on display Friday as the mainly liberal and secular opposition held rallies saying the goals of the pro-democracy uprising have not been met and denouncing Islamist President Mohammed Morsi.

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    MOPTI, Mali (AP) — Mali's military and French forces have pushed toward the Islamic extremist stronghold in the city of Gao, in their farthest push east since launching an operation two weeks ago to retake land controlled by the rebels, residents and a security official said Friday.

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    JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Afraid of crocodiles? Then you may want to stay away from the South Africa-Botswana border.

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    MEXICO CITY (AP) — Two months after President Enrique Pena Nieto took office promising to reduce violent crime, the killings linked to Mexico's drug cartels continue unabated.

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    KUWAIT CITY (AP) — International aid officials are framing their latest gathering on Syria's humanitarian crises in terms not seen in the region since the height of the Iraq war: Refugee numbers possibly swelling toward 1 million, more than double that number in need of help inside the country and political policymaking among Bashar Assad's foes torn between the battlefield strategies and the civilian costs.

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    SANTA MARIA, Brazil (AP) — The repercussions of a tragic nightclub fire that killed more than 230 people in southern Brazil widened Tuesday as mayors around the country cracked down on such venues in their own cities and investigators searched two other nightspots owned by a partner in the club that caught ablaze.

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    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea launched a satellite into space from its own soil for the first time Wednesday amid increased tensions after archrival North Korea accomplished a similar feat and was condemned by the United Nations.

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    SEVARE, Mali (AP) — France's foreign minister said Wednesday that French forces would depart Mali "quickly" following their success in taking control of the airport in Kidal, a key position in the last remaining urban stronghold of Islamist extremists in northern Mali.

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    BEIRUT (AP) — The Lebanese military said Wednesday that Israeli warplanes have sharply increased their activity over Lebanon in the past week, including at least 12 sorties in less than 24 hours in the country's south.

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    VIENNA (AP) — The U.N. nuclear agency has told member nations that Iran is poised for a major technological upgrade of its uranium enrichment program, in a document seen Thursday by The Associated Press. The move would vastly speed up Tehran's ability to make material that can be used for both reactor fuel and nuclear warheads

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    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt's most prominent Muslim cleric, the sheik of al-Azhar, has warned Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad against interfering in Arab Gulf countries or trying to spread Shiite influence.

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    LONDON (AP) — The art world loves hype. Works are touted as the biggest, the rarest, the most expensive.

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    DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistani officials say the death toll from a suspected U.S. drone strike in a restive tribal region has risen to 9, all of whom were militants. Two intelligence officials said Saturday that three members of the Pakistani Taliban movement wounded in the Friday strike on a militant compound died [...]

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    SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — A bus carrying fans of a Chilean soccer team has plunged into a ravine, killing 16 people. Fire department officials say most of those who died in Saturday’s crash are 13 to 18 years old. One is an infant a few months old. Twenty-one people are reported injured. Officials say the [...]

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    VATICAN CITY (AP) — Starting his public farewell to his flock, a weary Pope Benedict XVI celebrated his final public Mass as pontiff, presiding over Ash Wednesday services hours after a bittersweet audience that produced the extraordinary scene of the pope explaining his decision to step down directly to the faithful.

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    JERUSALEM (AP) — A U.S.-based rights group said Israel violated laws of war in a series of airstrikes it conducted during an eight-day military operation last November against Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

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    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea's neighbors bolstered their military preparations and mobilized scientists Wednesday to determine whether Pyongyang's third nuclear test, conducted in defiance of U.N. warnings, was as successful as the North claimed.

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