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Swiss Pay $1.7M over U.S. Woman Killed by Embassy Staffer

Switzerland said Wednesday it had paid $1.7 million in compensation after a Swiss embassy driver, who once worked for the Gadhafi family, hit and killed a woman in Washington in 2011.

The embassy driver, a former servant of Hannibal Gadhafi -- one of the sons of toppled Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi -- has since been sacked, the Swiss foreign ministry said.

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Hollande in Switzerland to Mend Ties after Tax Squabbles

French President Francois Hollande said Wednesday a drawn-out tax evasion row with Switzerland "is behind us" as he started a state visit aimed at mending fences.

The two-day trip is the first state visit to Switzerland by a French president since Jacques Chirac's stopover 17 years ago.

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Swiss Police Arrest Aspiring Jihadist at Zurich Airport

A 25-year-old Swiss man suspected of trying to travel to Syria or Iraq to join jihadists has been arrested at Zurich airport, the federal prosecutor's office said on Wednesday.

The man, from the Zurich area, was arrested on Tuesday while seeking to board a plane to Istanbul, Turkey.

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Storm Kills at Least Nine in Central Europe

At least nine people lost their lives as a powerful storm barreled through central Europe, causing traffic chaos and leaving thousands without electricity, the authorities said Wednesday.

Seven people perished on Tuesday in Germany, where Storm Niklas strengthened into a hurricane in some areas, packing winds of more than 190 kilometers (120 miles) an hour.

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Road Being Built to Germanwings Crash Site, DNA from 78 Victims Found

Forensic teams have isolated 78 distinct DNA strands from body parts at the Germanwings crash site in the French Alps, while investigators continued their grim task in the arduous mountain terrain.

As well as trying to identify and return bodies to their families, search teams were also hunting for a second "black box" that has yet to be found six days into the search.

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Switzerland, Luxembourg Plan to Join China-led Development Bank

Switzerland and Luxembourg are planning to join the Beijing-backed development bank AIIB, China's finance ministry said, the latest European nations to sign up to the multilateral lender which has drawn skepticism from the United States.

Britain, France, Germany and Italy have already announced their intentions to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank -- which is viewed by some as a competitor to the World Bank and the Manila-based Asian Development Bank.

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Switzerland to Return $380 Million to Nigeria in Abacha Case

Switzerland will return to Nigeria some $380 million (360 million euros) linked to ex-dictator Sani Abacha, Geneva's public prosecutor said Tuesday, adding that it was closing a 16-year case on the funds.

Abacha ruled oil-rich Nigeria with an iron fist from 1993 until he died in 1998. The economy grew under his rule, though he was seen as extremely corrupt and faced criticism over his human rights abuses in the oil-rich nation.

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Anti-IS Fighter Faces Charges in Switzerland

A Swiss man of Syrian Christian origin who battled the Islamic State group faces charges after returning home, raising the issue of how Europe handles citizens fighting IS.

European governments already face the headache of dealing with citizens who have gone to Syria to join the ultra-violent Islamist IS group. But volunteers in units fighting against IS pose a new problem.

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Poland Slams Swiss Sale of Camouflage Nets to Russia

Poland on Tuesday criticized a Swiss company's sale of high-tech camouflage netting to Russia despite Western sanctions over its role in the Ukraine conflict.

"It must be condemned... supplying this kind of equipment facilitates the aggression of the Russian military," Foreign Minister Grzegorz Schetyna told PAP news agency of the 85 million euros ($91 million sale).

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U.S., Iran Launch New Round of Nuclear Talks

Top diplomats from Iran and the U.S. began a new round of marathon talks on a nuclear deal late Monday, as Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu warned the emerging accord could threaten his country's survival.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met in a Swiss lakeside hotel for a series of sessions which are scheduled to stretch into Wednesday afternoon.

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