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Report: Senior N. Korea Official Leaves for U.S. Talks

A senior North Korean diplomat left Tuesday for rare talks in the United States, a media report said, amid efforts to restart stalled negotiations on scrapping the North's nuclear programs.

First vice foreign minister Kim Kye-Gwan left Beijing Tuesday morning en route for New York, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a Seoul diplomatic source as saying.

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Argentina Parts Ways with Coach Sergio Batista

Argentina's Copa America flop has cost coach Sergio Batista his job as the Argentine Football Association said Monday they were parting ways with the manager.

AFA's Ernesto Cherquis Bialo confirmed Batista's departure after a meeting of the AFA executive committee on Monday.

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Messi Among Barca No-Shows for U.S. Tour

Lionel Messi, a two-time FIFA Player of the Year, is among several Barcelona players who will not play for the reigning UEFA Champions League winners in their upcoming three-match American tour.

The Spanish side's star striker will be rested after playing in the Copa America this month for Argentina, which flopped and parted ways on Monday with coach Sergio Batista after a disappointing quarter-final exit on home soil.

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Prosecutor: Norway Killer Could Get 30 Years

Norwegian police could seek to charge the man who says he carried out last week's killings of 76 people with crimes against humanity, which would carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

The new charge against Anders Behring Breivik would mean he could serve more than the current 21 years he faces for terrorism-related charges after Friday's twin bombing and shooting, a term that many Norwegians feel is not long enough.

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Deadly Australian Horse Virus Found in Dog

A lethal bat-borne horse virus has been detected in a dog for the first time, authorities in Australia said on Tuesday, prompting fears it has jumped species.

"This is the first time outside of a laboratory that an animal other than a flying fox or a horse, or a human, has been confirmed with Hendra virus infection," Queensland state Chief Veterinary Officer Rick Symons said.

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Tajik Policeman Killed, 2 Wounded in Clash with Runaways

One Tajik policeman was killed and another two received gunshot wounds when they clashed with runaway militants in a remote region near the Afghan border, police said on Tuesday.

Police said the gunmen were part of a group of militants who escaped from a detention center last August, killing six prison guards.

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Iran's Salehi to Visit Russia for Nuke Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi will visit Moscow at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov to discuss Tehran's controversial nuclear drive, an official said on Tuesday.

"Regarding Mr. Lavrov's invitation to Mr. Salehi ... the topics of discussion will be elevating bilateral relations, studying regional and international developments," Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a media conference.

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Analysts: Hizbullah on Edge in Face of Syria Revolt

The unprecedented revolt threatening the regime in Syria has placed key ally Hizbullah in a tight spot and prompted the Lebanese group to adopt a more measured attitude, analysts say.

"Hizbullah's margin of maneuver is currently very limited because the strategic Iran-Syria-Hizbullah axis is threatened by the revolt and this forces the group to act prudently," said Paris-based Middle East expert Agnes Levallois.

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'Substantial' Explosives Seized North of Melbourne

Heavily-armed Australian police on Tuesday seized a "substantial" stockpile of explosives in a raid on a house north of Melbourne, but ruled out any religious or racial connections.

A 32-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of possessing items used to make bombs after arson and explosives squad detectives, together with the Special Operations Group, executed a search warrant at the house in Castlemaine.

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Hamas Executes Two Palestinians for Collaborating with Israel

Gaza's Hamas rulers on Tuesday executed two Palestinians convicted of collaboration with Israel, the interior ministry said in a statement.

It was the second time this year that the Islamist movement had carried out an execution of someone accused of 'collaborating' with the Israelis.

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