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Mexico Shuts Down 'World's Biggest Garbage Dump'

Authorities Monday shut down Mexico's -- and possibly the world's -- biggest garbage dump and said they would invite bids to exploit methane gas generated by the decomposing waste.

Waste Management Commission chief Fernando Menendez called the closing "historic" as "it is the world's largest (truck-filled open-air) dump."

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Syria Imposes Death Penalty for Arming 'Terrorists'

Syrian President Bashar Assad has signed into effect a law imposing the death penalty on anyone arming "terrorists", state media said on Tuesday amid mounting clashes with rebel troops.

"The law provides for the death penalty for anyone providing weapons or helping to provide weapons intended for the carrying out of terrorist acts," the official SANA news agency said.

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IBM Says Mind Reading Machines on Their Way

Century-old technology colossus IBM depicted a near future in which machines read minds and recognize who they are dealing with.

The "IBM 5 in 5" predictions were based on societal trends and research which the New York State-based company expected to begin bearing fruit by the year 2017.

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Japan to Buy Chinese Bonds

Japan is preparing to buy Yuan-denominated bonds issued by the Chinese government under a proposed bilateral currency and financial agreement, according to the Nikkei business daily.

Japanese and Chinese officials are working out plans to have the pact signed when their premiers hold summit talks in Beijing on Sunday, the brief dispatch said on Tuesday.

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AT&T Drops Plan to Buy T-Mobile

AT&T threw in the towel Monday on its $39 billion deal to buy T-Mobile USA and grab the lead in the U.S. wireless business after running into stiff opposition from U.S. regulators.

AT&T said it would have to take a $4 billion charge for dropping the offer, first made in March, to buy T-Mobile from its parent Deutsche Telekom.

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Polish Man 'Buried Partner Alive' in Yorkshire Wood

A Polish man who shot his partner with a Taser stun gun and then buried her alive in a Yorkshire wood was found guilty of attempted murder on Monday.

Marcin Kasprzak, 25, attacked Michelina Lewandowska, 27, the mother of his child, at their home in Huddersfield on May 28, and then bound and gagged her with tape.

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Berlin Film Fest Selects Hanks, Zhang Movies

The Berlin film festival unveiled its first selections Monday including a 9/11 drama starring Tom Hanks and new pictures from China's Zhang Yimou and Filipino art house star Brillante Mendoza.

The 62nd annual event, running February 9 to 19, will include the hotly awaited "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close" by British director Stephen Daldry ("The Hours").

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U.S. Zoo Receives $4.5 Million Panda Donation

The National Zoo in Washington announced Monday it had received a $4.5 million donation from a rich U.S. benefactor which will fund a five-year study into preservation of the giant panda.

The money from David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, a global investment house, will fund conservation and reproduction programs in China, scholarships and training, and refurbishment of panda enclosures in Washington.

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Turkey Weighs Sanctions against France over Genocide Bill

The Turkish government will impose a raft of diplomatic and trade sanctions against Paris if French lawmakers adopt an Armenian genocide bill this week, a government source said on Tuesday.

"Turkey will not remain silent. That will obviously have consequences," the source told Agence France Presse.

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Karzai Wants Immediate Halt to NATO Night Raids

Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Tuesday demanded an immediate halt to NATO-led night raids after the military insisted the operations will continue despite the recent death of a pregnant woman.

Karzai has led public criticism of the controversial raids, saying they endanger lives and harass local communities, and repeatedly called on U.S.-led international forces to stop entering Afghan homes.

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