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Russia Bids Farewell to Ex-PM and Spymaster Primakov

Russia bid farewell Monday to former prime minister, foreign minister and master spy Yevgeny Primakov, with a state funeral for one of the last Soviet-era political titans who died last week aged 85.

Dignitaries led by President Vladimir Putin paid their last respects to the former prime minister, whose remains lay in state in the House of Unions in central Moscow flanked by an honor guard.

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Mali Calls for Calm after Jihadist Attack

Mali's government appealed for calm on Monday after jihadists ransacked a town near the Ivory Coast border in the second attack in the south in less than three weeks.

Fighters carrying an Islamist flag took control of part of the town of Fakola on Sunday, attacking security forces and damaging a number of public buildings, including the town hall and police station, according to locals.

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Violence and a Boycott Keep Burundi Voters Away

Sitting in a quiet polling station in Burundi's capital Bujumbura, the four election officials have little better to do than listen to the radio.

Voters are shunning the ballot here in the key opposition Nyakabiga district, driven both by a fear of violence following weeks of unrest and a string of recent grenade attacks, as well as heeding a boycott call by the opposition.

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Abbott Urges Countries to Help in Fight against IS Group

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Monday urged countries around the world to proactively help fight the Islamic State (IS) group instead of expecting others to do the "heavy-lifting", as the jihadists eye international expansion.

Speaking at a public lecture on regional security in Singapore, Abbott said the group, which has drawn thousands of people worldwide to fight in Syria and Iraq, could commit "more and worse atrocities as long as even a small minority of people are susceptible to its message."

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French Attacker Denies Religious Aim, Motivations Murky

A man who beheaded his boss in France has denied any religious motivation, investigative sources said Monday, muddying efforts to pin down the reasons for an attack which bore the hallmarks of a jihadist act.

Yassin Salhi, 35, on Sunday confessed to decapitating his employer and pinning his severed head to the fence of a gas factory in eastern France in a macabre display that included two Islamic flags.

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In Iran, Morale Fragile as Nuclear Talks Stumble

For Amir Moghtader the waiting has become a torment. Uncertainty is the cause, but as the clock ticks down he still hopes there can be a nuclear deal for Iran.

"I don't know what the solution is, but the government should find it and it should benefit both sides," he says, parked at Argentine Square, a busy intersection for workers entering and leaving central Tehran.

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Report: Obama Sent Iran Message ahead of Nuclear Deadline

U.S. President Barack Obama recently sent a private message to Iran's leadership via Iraq's prime minister, an Iranian newspaper reported Monday on the eve of a deadline for a nuclear deal.

Hamshahri, Iran's highest-circulation daily, citing a lawmaker, said "one of the leaders of a neighboring country" took the message from Obama to officials in Tehran.

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U.S. Says Deal Reached to Give U.N. Access to Suspect Iran Sites

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Monday it was too soon to tell if a nuclear deal with Iran is possible as he awaited the return of Iran's foreign minister from consultations in Tehran.

"We're just working and it's too early to make any judgments," Kerry told reporters in Vienna following a weekend of intense talks with counterparts from five other major powers and Iran.

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11 Killed in Chad Police Raid against Boko Haram

Five Chadian police officers and six Islamists were killed Monday when suspected Boko Haram militants blew themselves up during a police raid on a safe house in the capital N'Djamena, the interior minister said.

The blasts struck after security forces arrested the alleged "brain" behind Boko Haram operations in Chad and neighboring northern Cameroon, Interior Minister Abderahim Bireme Hamid said.

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France says 40 Imams Deported for 'Preaching Hatred' since 2012

France has deported 40 foreign imams for "preaching hatred" in the past three years, a quarter of them in the last six months, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Monday.

The minister vowed to clamp down on mosques and preachers inciting hatred after a suspected Islamist beheaded his boss during an attack on a gas factory last week.

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