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Gunfight Kills 43 in Troubled Mexican State

Mexican federal forces killed 42 suspected drug cartel members Friday during a three-hour-long gunfight in a ranch in a violence-torn western region, marking one of the drug war's bloodiest battles.

Only one federal police officer was killed in the operation, which authorities launched after learning that "armed criminals" were occupying the ranch in Tanhuato, Michoacan state, near the neighboring state of Jalisco, officials said.

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Two 6.8-Magnitude Quakes Strike Off Solomon Islands

Two strong 6.8-magnitude earthquakes struck off the Solomon Islands early Saturday, U.S. geologists said, but there were no initial reports of damage and no tsunami warnings were issued.

The first quake hit at a depth of 10 kilometers (six miles), 205 kilometers from Kirakira and 448 kilometers from the capital Honiara and the second shallow quake struck just over two hours later about 159 kilometers from Kirakira. 

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London Bombmaker Jailed for Life for U.S. Soldier Murder in Iraq

A London taxi driver who made bombs targeting coalition troops in Iraq, one of which killed a U.S. soldier, was on Friday jailed for life with a minimum of 38 years after being convicted of murder.

Anis Sardar, 38, built an improvised explosive device (IED) which killed Sergeant First Class Randy Johnson of 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment when it exploded under his armoured vehicle outside Baghdad on September 27, 2007.

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Peace Activists Live-Stream Press Conference from N. Korea

A group of international women peace activists broadcast a landmark press conference from North Korea on Saturday, using Twitter's new video live-streaming app Periscope, apparently with official approval.

The group of 30 women, led by American feminist Gloria Steinem, are scheduled to cross the demilitarised zone (DMZ) dividing North and South Korea on Sunday to promote peace and reconciliation.

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Togo Government Resigns as President Begins Third Term

Togo's Prime Minister Kwesi Seleagodji Ahoomey-Zunu and his government resigned on Friday, an expected move after elections last month that saw President Faure Gnassingbe extend his family's nearly five-decade grip on power.

Gnassingbe was sworn in for his third term on May 4 after winning nearly 59 percent of the vote in the small west African country that his family has controlled since 1967.

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Cartel Operated Surveillance Cameras in Mexican City

A drug cartel installed 39 surveillance cameras in a Mexican city bordering the United States to monitor the movements of residents and security forces, authorities said Friday.

It underlines the pervasiveness of Mexico's powerful drug cartels, who have eyes and ears in towns and cities across the country thanks to human "halcones," or hawks, who act as lookouts and relay information to the gangs.

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Ukraine Truce Talks Make No Breakthrough in Minsk

A top pro-Russian rebel said on Friday that a new round of Ukraine crisis talks had resulted in no breakthrough but would continue in the coming weeks.

The chief negotiator of the self-declared Lugansk People's Republic said the European-mediated talks got stuck on the crucial issue of when and under what terms Ukraine's two renegade eastern provinces could conduct their own elections.

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39 Dead in Mexico Clash between Police, Armed Civilians

At least 37 armed civilians and two federal police officers were killed in a clash Friday in western Mexico, a region torn by drug cartel violence, a federal government official told AFP.

The shootout took place in the morning in the municipality of Tanhuato, in the state of Michoacan, and the death toll was a "preliminary figure," the official said on condition of anonymity.

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Turkey, Switzerland Deport Syria-bound French Citizens

Turkish authorities have detained and then deported a French national who arrived in the country seeking to join jihadists in Syria, an official said Friday.

The man, identified only as B.T., had landed Thursday night at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul on a flight from Milan, the Turkish official, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

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Colombia's Rebels Suspend Ceasefire over Deadly Air Raid

Colombia's FARC guerrillas suspended their unilateral ceasefire Friday after a government air strike killed 26 rebels, plunging peace talks to end the five-decade conflict into a new crisis.

The December ceasefire announcement by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) had raised hopes that the two-year-old peace negotiations were approaching a breakthrough. But tensions have spiraled since the rebels killed 11 soldiers in an ambush last month.

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