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Angry Parents Seek Autopsies of Korea Ferry Victims

Some parents of the mostly teenage victims of South Korea's ferry disaster are pushing for autopsies that might show their children were alive inside the submerged vessel and only died because the emergency response was so slow.

The confirmed death toll on Thursday stood at 169, but 133 were still missing as dive teams searched in near pitch-black conditions for bodies trapped in the ferry's interior.

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Strong 6.7 Earthquake Strikes Off Canada's Vancouver Island

A strong earthquake measuring 6.7 struck late Wednesday off Canada's Vancouver island in the Pacific, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake, which hit at 03:10 GMT, was at a depth of 11.4km (7.1mi) and 94 km (58 miles) south of Port Hardy, Canada.

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France, U.S. Back Sanctions against S.Sudan

France and the United States called Wednesday for the U.N. Security Council to consider sanctions against South Sudan over spiraling violence in the country's civil war, diplomats said.

U.S. ambassador Samantha Power relayed Washington's position in a closed-door meeting of the 15-member Council, diplomats said, and France's Gerard Araud told reporters before the session that it was time to think about sanctions against those responsible.

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U.S. Rejects Lavrov's 'Ludicrous' Ukraine Claims

The United States dismissed as "ludicrous" Wednesday claims by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov that it was funding or running an offensive in Ukraine as Washington and Moscow again traded barbs.

"I think many of the claims he made in his interview are ludicrous and they're not based in facts of what is happening on the ground," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

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Hate Preacher had Jihad 'Manual,' U.S. Court Told

The New York trial of British hate preacher Abu Hamza heard chilling extracts Wednesday from a 10-volume encyclopedia of jihad found in his London home with pictures of Osama bin Laden.

A British police officer told the Manhattan court that the Arabic-language manual was sitting in the living room of Abu Hamza -- a father of nine -- when he was arrested in May 2004.

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U.N. to Vote on Moderate W. Sahara Resolution Next Week

The U.N. Security Council will vote next Tuesday to renew the peacekeeping mission in Western Sahara, again without widening its mandate to monitoring human rights, diplomats said.

The resolution circulated by the United States aims to send "a clear unified signal," a Security Council diplomat said Wednesday, a year after a serious row between Morocco and the U.S..

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Four Dead in Nairobi Car Bomb Explosion

At least four people, including two policemen, were killed on Wednesday when a car bomb exploded outside a police station in Nairobi near a major Somali neighborhood, Kenya's government said.

"At least four dead after a sedan exploded at Pangani police station, of which two are police officers," the interior ministry tweeted.

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South Sudan's President Sacks Army Chief

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir dismissed General James Hotmai from his position as the head of the country's army on Wednesday, according to a decree read out on national television.

No official reason was given for the decision, but sources pointed to recent setbacks for South Sudan's army in the north of the country, where troops have been struggling against rebel forces led by former vice-president Riek Machar.

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Lavrov Says Vote 'Destructive' for Ukraine if Pro-Russians Not Consulted

Ukraine's going ahead with its May 25 presidential election without consulting first with pro-Russian voters "is very destructive for the country," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday in an interview with state-controlled RT television.

He said Moscow would only "recognize something that would be based on the all-inclusive process", adding, "to call an election without finding some common ground with the east and the south of Ukraine I think is very destructive for the country."

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Gunmen Kill 17 in Nigeria Village Raid

Gunmen killed at least 17 people in an attack on a village in eastern Nigeria where scores of people have died in ethnic violence in recent weeks, police said Wednesday.

Residents of the predominantly Christian village in Taraba state put the death toll from Tuesday's attack at 35 and said another 15 were still missing.

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