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U.S. Pentagon Chief Reassures Afghans as Trump Era Dawns

Pentagon chief Ashton Carter sought to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Afghanistan on Friday, as uncertainty lingers over President-elect Donald Trump's strategy on America's longest war in the face of a resilient Taliban insurgency.

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Dutch Firebrand MP Found Guilty of Discrimination

Populist anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders was found guilty on Friday of discrimination against Moroccans, but acquitted of hate speech in a closely-watched trial ahead of next year's key election.

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Satellite Images Appear to Show Vietnam Dredging on Disputed Reef

Vietnam has started dredging work on a reef in the South China Sea, fresh satellite images appear to show, a move that could provoke Beijing which claims most of the disputed waterway.

An image of the small Ladd Reef in the Spratly Islands, where Vietnam has a lighthouse, shows several vessels in a carved out embankment on the reef's edge. 

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Japan Switches on Nuclear Reactor after Safety Shutdown

Japan has restarted one of its few operating nuclear reactors after a two-month safety checkup, despite still-heated debate over atomic power following the Fukushima disaster.

The unit was shut down in October for inspections and maintenance under stricter rules brought in after a quake-sparked tsunami swamped the Fukushima plant in 2011, sending some reactors into meltdown and causing the worst nuclear disaster in a generation.

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German Police Detain Suspect of Dresden Mosque Attack

German police said Friday they have detained a 29-year-old man suspected of having carried out bomb attacks that struck a mosque and an international convention centre in the eastern city of Dresden.

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Somalia Sets Yet another Date for Presidential Vote

Somalia's top political leaders have announced the presidential election will be held on December 28, the fourth date so far set to conclude drawn-out, delayed and limited polls.

The new timetable was laid out in a joint statement issued late Thursday by the government, the leaders of Somalia's federal states and the election body.

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Civilian among Three Killed in Kashmir Shoot-Out

Two suspected rebels and a civilian were killed in a shoot-out with government forces in southern Kashmir, police said Friday, sparking fresh unrest after months of deadly violence.

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'Unnatural' for Mexican Military to Fight Drug Trafficking

Mexico's defense minister complained Thursday about his troops having to take part in the country's war on drug trafficking -- a rare expression of criticism about the controversial, decade-old deployment.

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UN Calls on Myanmar's Suu Kyi to Visit Crisis-Hit Rakhine

The UN has urged Myanmar's de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi to visit northern Rakhine state, where the army is accused of carrying out a brutal crackdown on the Muslim Rohingya minority.

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Two Jailed for Terror Plot in Australia

Two Muslims who plotted to blow up a prayer hall in Sydney and "cut heads" off civilians in the name of the so-called Islamic State group were both jailed for 20 years on Friday.

Omar Al-Kutobi, 25, and Mohammed Kiad, 27, were arrested last year at a flat they shared where police found a hunting knife, a machete, homemade explosives and a black IS flag.

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