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Indonesia International School Faces New Sex Abuse Claims

A prestigious Indonesian international school faced a mounting crisis Thursday, as new sexual assault claims emerged and an ex-teacher was revealed to have been a suspected pedophile under FBI investigation.

The Jakarta International School had already been ordered this week to close its nursery following allegations a six-year-old boy was sexually abused by cleaning staff in the toilets. 

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PLO Briefs Factions on Unity Deal as Hamas Contacts Regional Leaders

The Palestine Liberation Organization delegation to Gaza on Thursday briefed Palestinian factions on the reconciliation agreement reached with the Strip's Hamas rulers, as the Islamist movement contacted regional capitals in a similar move.

Hamas premier Ismail Haniyeh called Qatari, Tunisian and Turkish leaders to fill them in on the unity deal, said the Hamas-run al-Rai news agency.

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Algerian Blogger Held for 7 Months Freed on Bail

A young Algerian blogger, held since September for posting cartoons on the Internet mocking the president, has been granted bail ahead of his trial, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Abdelghani Aloui "was freed on bail on Wednesday by the indictment division of the court of Sidi M'Hamed in Algiers," Amine Sidhoum told AFP.

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Mali 2012 Coup Leader Facing Fresh Charge over Mass Grave

Malian prosecutors have charged 2012 coup leader Amadou Sanogo with complicity to murder over the discovery of a mass grave of loyalist soldiers, judicial sources said on Thursday.

Sanogo, who is already in custody facing accusations of complicity in kidnapping, was charged with the new offence after being interrogated before a court for the first time at the start of the week, his lawyer Me Tiessolo Konare told AFP.

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Seoul Official: N. Korea Seals Nuclear Test Tunnel

North Korea has apparently sealed a tunnel at its nuclear test site, a government official said Thursday ahead of U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival in Seoul for a two-day visit.

South Korea's defense ministry warned earlier this week that the North could be preparing to carry out a fourth nuclear test, citing increased activity at the Punggye-ri site.

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Syrian Observatory: Air Raid Kills 21 at Aleppo Market

An air strike on a market on Thursday killed at least 21 people, including three children, in a village of the north Syrian province of Aleppo, a monitoring group said.

The deadly raid comes amid a massive aerial offensive targeting opposition-held areas across Aleppo city and province that began in December 15.

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France's Hollande to Visit Georgia as Ukraine Crisis Rages

President Francois Hollande will visit Georgia shortly, his foreign minister announced Thursday as France seeks to boost ties with the small ex-Soviet country that stands in the shadow of its giant neighbor Russia.

The French leader's visit -- due in May -- comes at a time when the European Union is seeking to boost ties with countries lying to its east, and as the West and Russia exchange increasingly strident barbs over the crisis in Ukraine where Moscow has already annexed the Crimean peninsula.

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King Bids to Reassure Saudis as MERS Deaths Hit 85

King Abdullah was in the Saudi commercial hub of Jeddah on Thursday in a bid to reassure a worried public as the death toll from the MERS virus hit 85.

The Red Sea city has seen a spate of cases among health staff in recent weeks that have sparked fears that the virus has mutated to make it more transmissible from person to person.

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Armenia Accuses Turkey of 'Utter Denial' on Genocide

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian on Thursday accused Turkey of an "utter denial" in failing to recognize World War I mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide, apparently brushing off Ankara's first ever offer of condolences for the tragedy.

In an unprecedented move described by the United States as a historic gesture, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday offered condolences over the massacres, calling them "our shared pain."

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South Sudan Rebels Say Closing in on Oil Fields

Rebels in South Sudan said Thursday they were closing in on key oil fields and two state capitals, predicting an imminent collapse of the government and a "bloodbath".

A statement from the rebel's spokesman, General Lul Ruai Koang, said forces battling President Salva Kiir captured the town of Renk, close to the border with Sudan, on Wednesday and were advancing on the Paloich oil fields.

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