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Iraq Shuts Infamous Abu Ghraib Prison over Security Fears

Iraq has closed Abu Ghraib prison, made infamous by Saddam Hussein's regime and U.S. forces, due to security concerns following a mass breakout last year, the justice ministry said Tuesday.

The country is suffering a protracted surge in violence that has claimed more than 2,550 lives this year, and the area west of Baghdad where the prison is located is particularly insecure.

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Afghan Poll Hopeful Ghani Wants Pakistan 'Special Relationship'

Afghan presidential hopeful Ashraf Ghani says rapprochement with the Taliban's old backers Pakistan, along the lines of France and Germany after World War II, is key to ending instability in his conflict-torn nation.

The race to succeed President Hamid Karzai has narrowed to a two-way fight between Ghani and former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah following the release of early partial results on Sunday.

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Turkey Urges Social Media Companies to Have Offices

Social media firms operating in Turkey should open offices there and pay taxes, authorities said Tuesday, amid a row with Twitter which the Turkish prime minister has branded "tax evaders".

Without mentioning Twitter by name, Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek said social media platforms were dodging taxes if they operated without opening a physical office.

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NATO Head Urges Russia to Pull back Troops from Ukraine Border

NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen urged Russia Tuesday to de-escalate tensions over Ukraine and withdraw troops massed on the border with its Soviet-era satellite.

"I am deeply concerned by the latest developments in Ukraine," Rasmussen said, citing the seizure of government buildings in the east of the country by pro-Moscow militias.

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Saudi Soldier Killed in Attack near Yemen Border

Suspected Yemeni smugglers shot dead a Saudi soldier near the kingdom's border with Yemen in the second such attack in less than a week, local media reported Tuesday.

The Al-Watan daily reported that the Monday clash between a Saudi patrol and "Yemeni smugglers" in the southwestern province of Jizan also left a Saudi border guard wounded.

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U.N. Urges Action to Reduce Ethnic Tensions in Ukraine

The United Nations urged the Ukrainian authorities Tuesday to take urgent measures to reduce ethnic tensions in eastern Ukraine, but said there was no evidence of widespread attacks against ethnic Russians.

Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine's government of failing to protect the country's ethnic Russian minority, and used this to justify its annexation of Crimea.

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Report: Syria to Announce Presidential Vote Date Next Week

The speaker of Syria's parliament will next week announce the date of the country's presidential election, expected to be held around June despite the conflict, Al-Watan newspaper reported.

The daily, which is close to the government, said Mohamed Jihad Lahham would make the announcement next week, but gave no details on the date for the vote.

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Mini-Sub to Dive again after Aborting First MH370 Search

A mini-sub hunting missing Flight MH370 was set to sweep the Indian Ocean seabed again Tuesday after cutting short its first mission, as Malaysia vowed to reveal any “black box” data found.

The unmanned submarine equipped with sonar gear was deployed Monday night from the Australian ship Ocean Shield, which has spearheaded the hunt for the Boeing 777 that vanished on March 8 with 239 people aboard.

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Israel Looks for Gunman after Fatal West Bank Shooting

Israeli troops were scouring a village near the southern West Bank city of Hebron on Tuesday, residents said, a day after a gunman killed an Israeli nearby.

The incident at the start of the Jewish Passover holiday on Monday was the first deadly attack on an Israeli in the occupied West Bank since the start of the year, and came as tensions were soaring over the near-breakdown of U.S.-brokered peace talks.

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India's Maoists Apologize after Deadly Bus Attack

India's Maoist rebels have issued a public apology after a deadly weekend landmine attack on a bus carrying election officials, calling it a "big mistake".

Seven temporary workers for the Election Commission were killed last Saturday in the restive central state of Chhattisgarh when the bus they were traveling in exploded.

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