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Greek Cypriots in Landmark Easter Mass in Turkish-Held North

Greek Cypriots have been authorized to hold a Good Friday mass at a church in the Turkish-held town of Famagusta on divided Cyprus for the first time in decades.

Famagusta mayor-in-exile Alexis Galanos said Friday’s landmark service at Saint George Exorinos church will send a message of reconciliation on one of the most important dates in the Greek Orthodox calendar.

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U.S. Sends Ship to South Korea Ferry Disaster

The United States said Wednesday it was sending a ship to the area where nearly 300 people are missing after a South Korean ferry, carrying hundreds of schoolchildren sank.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard headed to the area where the ferry went down.

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U.S. Urges Halt to Russia 'Provocation' in Ukraine, Prepares New Sanctions

The United States warned Russia Wednesday to stop its "provocation" in eastern Ukraine, reiterating that new sanctions could be slapped on the Kremlin.

With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry en route to Europe for international talks on the most serious East-West crisis in years, and a Ukrainian effort to reassert control over its eastern regions floundering, the State Department demanded de-escalation and demobilization on the part of Russian forces.

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S.Africa's Zuma Booed at Election Rally

Disgruntled residents in a small South African town booed President Jacob Zuma Wednesday during an election campaign of the ruling ANC three weeks ahead of general polls, according to a report.

Rally-goers reacted angrily while Zuma -- under fire for multimillion-dollar state-paid renovations to his private home -- was answering questions from the stage, according to City Press newspaper.

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Study: Syria Foreign Fighters Look to Western Preachers

Foreign fighters in Syria are looking to Western-based spiritual authorities acting as "cheerleaders" on social media, a British-based research body said Wednesday.

A study of the social media activity of foreign jihadists showed many were following certain influential preachers -- one from the United States and another from Australia, said the International Center for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King's College London university.

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EU Nations Study Cost of Economic Sanctions against Russia

The EU's executive has concluded a study of the cost to member states of imposing economic sanctions on Russia and has handed individual assessments to all 28, diplomats said Wednesday.

The European Commission assessed the potential impact on each of the bloc's 28 economies of agreeing trade and financial sanctions over the Ukraine crisis and handed the data in individual envelopes to EU ambassadors, said an EU diplomat speaking on condition of anonymity.

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ICC Puts Darfur Rebel Leader's Trial on Ice

The International Criminal Court on Wednesday postponed until further notice the war crimes trial of Darfur rebel leader Abdallah Banda, blaming "logistic difficulties" for the hold-up.

"Today the trial chamber decided to vacate the date of May 5, initially scheduled for the opening of the trial... of Abdallah Banda," the Hague-based court said in a statement.

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Angola Opposition Denounces Backslide in Democracy

Angola's main opposition party Unita expressed concern Wednesday about what it called the deteriorating state of democracy in the oil-producing southern African country, after a rare meeting with its longtime president.

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (Unita) said it feared a reversal in progress made since a devastating civil war with its rival the ruling MPLA party ended more than a decade ago.

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U.N. Vows to Learn Lessons of Rwanda Genocide Failures

Rwanda on Wednesday warned not enough was being done to prevent future mass atrocities as the United Nations passed a resolution pledging to heed the lessons from the country's 1994 genocide.

The U.N. Security Council adopted a resolution solemnly calling on states "to recommit to prevent and fight against genocide and other serious crimes against international law."

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Jordan Condemns Israel 'Escalation' in Al-Aqsa

Jordan on Wednesday urged the U.N. Security Council to end Israeli "escalation" at Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound after it was opened to Jewish visitors.

"Legal, humanitarian and ethical duties of the U.N. Security Council and the international community require that they stop Israeli escalation and violations committed by Jewish radicals at Al-Aqsa," Information Minister Mohammad Momani told the state-run Petra news agency.

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