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Pentagon: N. Korea Lacks Technology for Anti-U.S. Nuclear Strike

North Korea is committed to striking the United States with a nuclear-armed missile, but it can't do so without outside help, due to shortfalls in its own technology, the Pentagon said Friday.

The report to Congress was written prior to a fourth nuclear test conducted by Pyongyang last month and the launch of a satellite-bearing rocket earlier this month.

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U.S. Deploys more Patriot Missiles in S. Korea

The United States has temporarily deployed an additional Patriot missile battery in South Korea following North Korea's recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch, U.S. Forces Korea said Saturday.

The move came as the two allies plan to start detailed discussions on bringing in an advanced, high-altitude U.S. missile defense system opposed by China as early as next week.

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U.S. Approves F-16 Sale to Pakistan

The United States said Friday it had approved selling up to eight Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, along with training, radar and other equipment, worth a total of $699 million.

The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which coordinates such foreign arms sales, said it had informed Congress of the plans on Thursday.

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Pope in Mexico after Historic Talks with Russian Patriarch

Mexico greeted Pope Francis on Friday with mariachi music and throngs of Catholic faithful lining the streets after he held historic talks with the head of the Russian Orthodox Church in Cuba.

President Enrique Pena Nieto welcomed Francis at the airport while a mariachi band played before he climbed into the Popemobile to wave at crowds across the capital of the world's second largest Catholic country.

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Two Teen Girls Killed in Shooting at Arizona School

Two teenage girls were killed Friday in a shooting at a high school in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona, police said, adding they believe the tragedy was an "isolated incident."

Officer Tracey Breeden, of the Glendale police department, identified the two victims as 15-year-old girls who were found next to each with a weapon nearby.

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U.S. Congress Adopts Expanded Sanctions on North Korea

The U.S. Congress adopted tougher sanctions on North Korea Friday, in a bid to punish the reclusive Asian nation for its provocative recent nuclear test and rocket launch.

The House voted 408 to 2 in favor of the bipartisan measure, which would slap sanctions on any person or entity importing goods or technology or training related to weapons of mass destruction into North Korea, or anyone who knowingly engages in human rights abuses. 

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Russian Court Throws Out Opposition Lawsuit against Putin

A Russian court has thrown out a lawsuit against President Vladimir Putin filed by top opposition leader Alexei Navalny over alleged graft, saying the Kremlin chief was effectively untouchable.

On Thursday anti-corruption crusader Navalny announced he had filed a lawsuit against Putin, accusing him of ordering huge loans to a firm owned by the president's son-in-law.

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Pope, Russian Patriarch Kiss at Start of Historic Cuba Meeting

Pope Francis and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill kissed each other and sat down together Friday for the first meeting between their two branches of the church in nearly a thousand years.

Francis, 79, in white robes and a skullcap and Kirill, 69, in black robes and a white headdress, exchanged kisses and embraced before sitting down smiling for the historic meeting at Havana airport.

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Pretoria Back in Court over Bashir Immunity Row

The South African government argued in court Friday that it was not obliged to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during his visit to the country last June because he had immunity.

Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged war crimes related to the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan, and South Africa is a member of the Hague-based institution.

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Venezuela Opposition Speeds up Bid to Oust President

Venezuela's opposition Friday vowed sped up moves to oust President Nicolas Maduro after he defied lawmakers by decreeing a state of economic emergency through the crisis-hit country's high court.

"In the next few days we will have to present a concrete proposal for the departure of that national disgrace that is the government," the opposition leader of congress Henry Ramos told a news conference.

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