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Japan Knife Attacker Grins before Cameras

A Japanese man who admitted murdering 19 people at a center for the mentally disabled grinned at news cameras Wednesday before being questioned over the country's worst killing spree in decades.

Police searched the home of the 26-year-old, who reportedly said he wanted all disabled people to "disappear", after the knife rampage that left his victims in pools of blood, including some who were stabbed in the neck.

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Shootout Injures Five as Lengthy Armenia Standoff Drags On

A shootout between gunmen and Armenian police has left five people injured, an official said Wednesday, as the authorities remain locked in a protracted standoff with the heavily armed opposition supporters.

A police officer and four gunmen were wounded as clashes erupted at a police compound in the capital Yerevan that was seized over ten days ago, police spokesman Ashot Aharonyan wrote on Facebook.

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Mali Arrests Senior Jihadist Blamed for Military Base Attack

Malian special forces arrested a senior figure from the Ansar Dine jihadist group on Tuesday close to a central military base where he is accused of planning an attack that killed 17 soldiers.

"Today, at around 4:00 pm (1600 GMT) our special forces captured Mahmoud Barry, alias Abou Yehiya," one of the most senior figures in the group's branch operating in central Mali, an intelligence officer told Agence France Presse.

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Kerry: U.S. Avoiding 'Confrontation' in Sea Row

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Washington wanted to avoid "confrontation" in the South China Sea, after an international tribunal rejected Beijing's claims to most of the waters.

Kerry made the remarks after meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay in Manila where they discussed the Southeast Asian nation's sweeping victory in the arbitration case against China.

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Flood, Landslides Kill 33 at least 58 in Nepal

At least 58 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Nepal, the government said Wednesday.

Another 20 people are missing and the Nepal army is racing to evacuate hundreds more from flooded villages as the waters rise.

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N. Korea Floats Propaganda Leaflets in River for 1st Time

South Korea on Wednesday accused rival North Korea of floating propaganda leaflets down a river in the first such incident.

South Korea's military discovered dozens of plastic bags, each carrying about 20 leaflets, near the estuary of Seoul's Han River close to the tense Korean border last Friday, according to the South's Defense Ministry. Seoul is only an hour's drive from the border.

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Indian Activist to End Her Nearly 16-Year Hunger Strike

A frail 44-year-old activist who has been on a hunger strike for nearly 16 years to protest alleged brutality by India's military says she'll end her fast and run in state elections.

Irom Sharmila told a court in the northeastern state of Manipur on Tuesday that she'll give up her fast on Aug. 9 and stand as an independent candidate in elections early next year.

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Afghan Forces Step Up Anti-IS Offensive after Deadly Attack

Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes Tuesday ramped up an offensive against the Islamic State group in their eastern stronghold, days after the jihadists claimed the deadliest attack for 15 years in the capital Kabul.

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N. Korea Says Any Further Nuclear Test Depends on U.S.

North Korea's foreign minister said Tuesday that any decision to stage a further nuclear test would depend on the United States, as he held Washington responsible for scuppering denuclearization efforts on the Korean peninsula.

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U.S. Authorizes Departure of Families of Staff in Turkey after Coup

The U.S. State Department has authorized the voluntary departure of the families of staff posted in Turkey after an abortive coup targeting the government, the embassy said on its website on Tuesday.

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