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Republican Presidential Candidate: 'Extremists' within Reach of Pakistan Nukes

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich said Wednesday that Pakistan's nuclear arsenal was at risk of being seized by "extremists" who had probably infiltrated Islamabad's military.

"My guess is that they have well over 100 nuclear weapons and that the Pakistani military is so penetrated by extremist elements you have no idea if one morning, they are going to lose three or four of them. I mean just have them stolen," Gingrich told CNN's Situation Room program.

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Google Constructs New Data Centers in Asia

Google on Thursday began construction of a new data center in Hong Kong, the first of three planned for Asia as the Web giant expands to meet the region's growing thirst for information technology.

The facility, Google's first outside the United States and Europe, will cost US$300 million and is being built on 2.7 hectares (6.7 acres) in the Tseung Kwan O industrial estate in Kowloon, the firm said.

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U.S. Hits BP with Five Gulf Spill Violation Charges

U.S. regulators on Wednesday hit British oil giant BP with five more citations for violations of rules that led to the catastrophic Gulf oil spill.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) issued a second list of violations regarding BP's operation of the Macondo well that blew out in April 2010, causing the worst maritime environmental disaster in history.

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Washington Post: Remains of 274 U.S. Troops Dumped in Landfill

The U.S. Air Force dumped the cremated, partial remains of at least 274 troops in a landfill before halting the secretive practice in 2008, the Washington Post reported Thursday.

The procedure was never formally authorized or disclosed to senior Pentagon officials, who conducted a review of the cremation policies of Dover Air Base -- the main point of entry for U.S. war dead -- in 2008, the Post said.

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U.S. Urges Pakistan to Act after Attacks on Afghan Shiites

The United States on Wednesday urged greater action by Pakistan against a Sunni Muslim militant group that Afghanistan blamed for an unprecedented massacre against its Shiite minority.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said that the banned Pakistani extremist movement Lashkar-i-Jhangvi orchestrated the bloodshed Tuesday on the Shiite holy day of Ashura.

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Turkey Announces New Sanctions against Syria

Turkey announced on Wednesday a new set of sanctions against Syria as ties between the two former allies strained further over the Damascus regime's deadly crackdown on opponents.

"We will impose 30 percent tax on goods coming from Syria," Customs and Trade Minister Hayati Yazici was quoted as saying by the private NTV television.

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U.S. Says Assad 'Disconnected from Reality' or 'Crazy'

The United States said Wednesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was either disconnected from reality or "crazy" after he argued he was not responsible for killing thousands of protesters.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner reiterated the U.S. view that Assad has lost legitimacy and should step down after the Syrian leader said in a rare interview that "only a crazy person" would kill his own people.

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Mercedes F1 Driver Rosberg Calls Schumacher a Sore Loser

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has accused illustrious teammate Michael Schumacher of being a sore loser but insisted harsher criticism of the multiple world champion is wide of the mark.

Rosberg consistently out-qualified seven-time world champion Schumacher over the season and also beat him regularly enough to the finish line to see out the year one place and 13 points above his teammate.

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Syria Urges Citizens to Vote in Municipal Elections

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday urged Syrians to vote en masse in municipal elections next week, while its crackdown on dissent showed no signs of abating.

"December 12 is an important moment. All citizens must take part in the municipal elections and vote for the candidates they consider best capable of defending the public interest," wrote Al-Baath, the newspaper of the ruling party which has been in power since 1963.

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U.S. Grand Prix Included in F1 Calendar for 2012

The U.S. Grand Prix has been included on the 2012 Formula One calendar, ending fears the race in Austin, Texas, would be cut for financial reasons.

The sport's governing body said Wednesday on its website that the 2012 "calendar was confirmed as previously published." The unchanged F1 calendar was approved at a World Motor Sport Council meeting in New Delhi, India.

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