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China Offers Novel Solution to The Seven-Year Itch

Postal authorities in the Chinese capital Beijing have come up with a novel solution to a soaring divorce rate -- love letters sent with a seven-year delay.

The new service allows couples in the first flush of romance to post a letter their partner will only receive seven years later, the China Daily reported on Tuesday, saying that was when relationships often began to cool.

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Space Food, Shuttle Tiles for Sale by NASA

The U.S. space agency is offering schools and universities a special deal on astronaut cuisine and heat tiles from the now extinct space shuttles, just over 20 dollars a pack, NASA said Monday.

"The lightweight tiles protected the shuttles from extreme temperatures when the orbiters re-entered the Earth's atmosphere," NASA said in a statement.

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Turkish PM Warns of Sectarian 'Civil War' in Syria

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned in comments published Tuesday that Syria could plunge into "civil war," as he began a tour of Arab countries where uprisings ousted autocratic leaders.

"I fear that matters will end with a civil war breaking out between the Alawites and the Sunnis," Erdogan said in an interview published by Egypt's independent al-Shourouk as he began his tour in Cairo.

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France Fails to Twist China's Arm on Syria

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said he made little headway Tuesday in convincing Beijing to back a tough United Nations resolution condemning Syria's crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

The visiting Juppe met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and discussed the need for a resolution condemning the military crackdown on protesters, he told journalists.

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Ahmadinejad Says U.S. Hikers to be Freed 'in Two Days'

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad said in interviews Tuesday that Iran would release two U.S. hikers jailed for spying in a couple of days on bail which their lawyer said had been set at $500,000 each.

"I am helping to arrange for their release in a couple of days so they will be able to return home. This is of course going to be a unilateral humanitarian gesture," Ahmadinejad told The Washington Post.

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Turkey Says Considering Iraq Incursion against Rebels

Turkey is considering launching an incursion by its ground forces against Kurdish rebel bases operating in northern Iraq after a recent spate of attacks, the interior minister said on Tuesday.

"Discussions are under way for a land operation," Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin was quoted as saying by the Anatolia news agency.

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Qaida Claims Attack on Rebels in North Yemen

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has claimed a suicide bombing in mid-August against a gathering of Shiite Huthi rebels in northern Yemen, monitoring group SITE Intelligence said on Tuesday.

Witnesses at the time said two people were killed and several wounded in the August 15 car bomb attack at a government administration complex at al-Matamma, in al-Jawf province, while leaders of the Shiite rebellion were meeting.

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Pakistan School Bus Attack Kills Four Children

Gunmen ambushed a Pakistani school bus on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing four children and a driver in a hail of bullets, police said.

The attack happened in the Matani area close to Pakistan's northwestern tribal belt, which the United States considers the most dangerous region on earth and the global headquarters of al-Qaida.

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'Day of Anger' in Syria over Russian Support for Assad

Pro-democracy activists called a "day of anger" across Syria on Tuesday to protest against Russia's backing for President Bashar Assad, after his security forces shot dead at least another 19 people.

"Do not support the killers," activists urged Russia in a message announcing Tuesday's action posted on The Syrian Revolution 2011, a Facebook page that has been the engine for the six-month-old revolt against Assad's regime.

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Myanmar Releases 20,000 Prisoners

Myanmar has released about 20,000 prisoners this year under an amnesty program, the country's foreign minister said on Tuesday.

"Approximately 20,000 inmates from prisons and labor camps were released until the end of July 2011" under a amnesty order issued by President Thein Sein in May, Wunna Maung Lwin told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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