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Thousands Rally against Halt to Catalonia Referendum

Thousands of people rallied in a rainstorm in Barcelona on Tuesday vowing to defy Spain's move to block a referendum on independence for their Catalonia region.

Waving Catalan independence flags of red and yellow stripes overlaid with a white star on a blue background, demonstrators crowded on Sant Jaume square in the northeastern city under umbrellas, yelling "We will vote."

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Head-On Bus Collision Kills 16 in Algeria

A head-on collision between two buses killed 16 people  Tuesday on a highway in north-central Algeria, authorities said.

Another 30 people were injured in the accident, which happened on the major highway linking the city of Laghouat to the town of Afflou, civil defense Colonel Farouk Achour told Agence France-Presse.

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Iran Rejects Netanyahu's Accusations on Nuclear Threat

Iran on Tuesday rejected as baseless accusations leveled by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that it poses a greater threat to the world than the Islamic State jihadist group.

Speaking on Monday at the U.N. General Assembly, Netanyahu said that "to defeat ISIS and leave Iran as a threshold nuclear state power is to win the battle and lose the war."

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Libya Militants Denounce U.N.-Brokered Talks

Militias that control Libya's two main cities denounced Tuesday hard-won talks brokered by the U.N. aimed at ending a split that has crippled the violence-plagued country.

Parliament, which was elected June 25 and is dominated by anti-Islamists, is recognized by the international community but contested by a coalition of militias that control Tripoli and by Islamists in the eastern city of Benghazi.

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Spain PM Says Open to Debate on Constitutional Reform

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Tuesday he was open to proposals on reforming the country's constitution as demanded by rivals in response to the Catalonia region's demands for independence, but warned they were not his "priority."

A day after filing an appeal at Spain's Constitutional Court to block Catalan leaders from holding a referendum on independence for their region, Rajoy challenged the opposition Socialists to present a detailed plan for reform.

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Booby-Trapped Jihadist Flag Kills Three Iraqi Police

Three Iraqi policemen were killed Tuesday when one of them tried to remove a black flag that Islamic State jihadist fighters had booby-trapped south of Kirkuk, police said.

Kurdish peshmerga forces backed by local police units recaptured three villages near Daquq, around 180 kilometers (110 miles) north of Baghdad, that had been under IS control since June.

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Algeria Says Suspects Identified in Frenchman Beheading

Algeria has identified suspects in the kidnapping and beheading of French tourist Herve Gourdel, the justice minister said Tuesday, as the North Africa country widened its probe into the brutal execution.

Gourdel was seized on September 21 by Jund al-Khilifa, or "Soldiers of the Caliphate," a group linked to the Islamic State jihadists, while trekking in a national park in eastern Algeria.

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U.S. Beheading Suspect May Face Death Penalty

A U.S. man who allegedly beheaded a female co-worker has been charged with first degree murder and could face the death penalty, a prosecutor said Tuesday, giving details of the grisly attack.

Alton Nolen, 30, spoke in Arabic while he decapitated his victim with a "large kitchen knife," Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said, adding that the suspect appeared to hate white people.

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Britain Launches First Anti-IS Strikes in Iraq as U.S. Wages '20 Raids in 24 Hours'

British fighter jets on Tuesday bombed an artillery post and an armed truck used by the Islamic State group in Iraq in the Royal Air Force's first strikes in the U.S.-led air campaign.

The defense ministry said two Tornado jets hit the post with a Brimstone missile used against tanks and the vehicle with a 500-pound (230 kilogram) Paveway IV laser-guided bomb.

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IS Frees 70 Abducted Kurdish Children in Syria

The Islamic State jihadist group on Tuesday freed more than 70 Kurdish school children its fighters kidnapped in northern Syria in May, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based group said parents had reported the release of the children, who are believed to be aged between 13 and 15.

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