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Russia Says Ferguson Violence Highlights 'Massive' U.S. Problems

Russia said on Tuesday that the racial unrest in the U.S. town of Ferguson highlighted "massive" domestic problems in America that stemmed from Washington's failure to respect human rights.

"The latest events in Ferguson are another and very worrying signal to the American authorities indicating that it is finally time for them to focus on massive domestic problems in the field of ensuring human rights," the Russian foreign ministry said in a statement.

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Syria Jihadists Behead Ismaili Man for 'Apostasy'

The jihadist Islamic State group on Tuesday said it beheaded a member of the minority Ismaili community, an offshoot of Shiite Islam, accusing him of "apostasy".

"Yesterday (Monday) the Islamic police in Homs province carried out the punishment for apostasy against on an Ismaili apostate... The punishment was carried out before a group of Muslims," IS said in a statement distributed on jihadist forums.

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Retired Soldier Abducted in Arsal as Syrian Man Killed

An armed group on Tuesday kidnapped a retired army first adjutant from the Bekaa border town of Arsal before taking him to the area's outskirts.

“Retired army first adjutant Mohammed Ahmed al-Hujeiri was abducted by an armed group from his grocery shop in Arsal's Ras al-Sarj,” LBCI television reported.

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Togo Leader Rules out Limiting Presidential Mandates

Togo leader Faure Gnassingbe on Tuesday rejected opposition calls for limiting the number of presidential mandates and gave a strong signal that he would seek re-election next year.

The head of state has come under mounting pressure to change the constitution to limit a president to a maximum two, five-year terms of office from the current provision of no limit.

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Four Killed in Nicaragua Mine Disaster

Search teams in Nicaragua on Tuesday recovered the bodies of at least four men killed in a cave-in at an old gold mine in the country's northwest, authorities said.

The cave-in occurred Monday night at the Rincon de Los Garcia mine in the town of Villanueva, 132 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of Managua after heavy rains in the area, the town's mayor told Radio Ya.

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Morocco Urged to Speed Up Reforms Ahead of Rights Meet

A global advocacy group on Tuesday urged Morocco to speed up reform and remove "barriers to exercising freedoms" on the eve of an international human rights summit in the kingdom.

This week's forum in Marrakech "should be an opportunity for the Moroccan authorities to move from words to deeds" on rights reform, the head of the International Federation for Human Rights, Karim Lehidji, said in a statement.

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Pope Slams 'State Terrorism' That Kills 'Innocents'

Pope Francis on Tuesday slammed "state terrorism" that "kills the innocent at the same time as terrorists".

It was not clear whom the pontiff was referring to in the remarks made on his plane returning to the Vatican from a visit to the European Parliament and Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France.

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South Sudan Says U.N. Sanctions Will Not Help Peace

South Sudan told the U.N. Security Council on Tuesday that imposing sanctions on warring sides would harden positions and complicate efforts to end nearly a year of fighting.

The United States has said it plans to present a draft resolution setting up a sanctions regime for South Sudan which has been engulfed in violence that has left tens of thousands dead.

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U.N. Rights Chief Warns U.S. on Police Racism

The U.N. on Tuesday urged the United States to investigate racial discrimination within its law enforcement and judicial systems, after a white officer who killed an unarmed black teen walked free.

"I am deeply concerned at the disproportionate number of young African Americans who die in encounters with police officers, as well as the disproportionate number of African Americans in U.S. prisons and the disproportionate number of African Americans on Death Row," U.N. rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein said in a statement.

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Pakistan Media Owner Sentenced to 26 Years for 'Blasphemy'

A Pakistan court Tuesday sentenced the owner of the country's biggest media group to 26 years in prison for broadcasting a show it said was blasphemous.

The verdict against Mir Shakil-ur-Rahman along with the host of the show and two guests was announced by an anti-terror court in the city of Gilgit, which is controlled by Pakistan but part of the Kashmir region which India also claims.

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