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Rome Mayor Fights for Survival amid Eternal City Chaos

It boasts some of the most prized archaeological sites in the world, but modern-day Rome, plagued by the mafia, has descended into a grimy and disheveled chaos where its beleaguered mayor is fighting for his political life.

Ignazio Marino on Tuesday appointed a new transport councilor in a bid to combat corruption in a sector which has failed pitifully in the searing summer heat, with tourists and locals alike hit by long delays and overcrowded public services.

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Sri Lanka Opposition Says No Autonomy for Tamils

Sri Lanka's main opposition party Tuesday scrapped a longstanding promise to give greater autonomy to minority Tamils, as it tries to win over hardline sections of the Sinhalese majority before a general election.

In its manifesto launched in Colombo, former strongman Mahinda Rajapakse's United People's Freedom Alliance (UPFA) said it would refuse to grant more powers to a local council in the Tamils' northern heartland if it won the August 17 election.

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Litvinenko Suspect a No-Show at UK Poisoning Inquiry

A Russian wanted in Britain over the death of ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko will not appear before an inquiry into his poisoning, the probe heard Tuesday, dealing it a setback days before its conclusion.

After several days of uncertainty, Dmitry Kovtun failed to give evidence via video link from Moscow to the inquiry at London's High Court by a 1000 GMT deadline set by its chairman.

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Ukraine Monitors Report Coming under 'Targeted' Fire

Ukraine's truce monitors reported Tuesday coming under "targeted" fire in the past few days in incidents that have forced them to review future operations in the war-torn state.

The Organization for the Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) remains at the heart of global efforts to end the 15-month conflict between Western-backed Kiev and pro-Russian insurgents that has already claimed more than 6,500 lives.

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Flooding near Vietnam's Halong Bay Kills 14

At least 14 people have been killed in the worst flooding for 40 years in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province, home to the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay tourist site, officials said Tuesday.

Three more people were missing and a number of local tourists remained stranded on nearby Co To island, which is cut off from the mainland due to torrential rain, according to a local disaster relief official.

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Iran's Conservative Media Slams Fabius over Blood Scandal

A trip to Tehran by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius faced a threat of being overshadowed Tuesday by a tainted blood scandal from the 1980s which killed hundreds of Iranians.

Fabius is due in Tehran on Wednesday and Iran's conservative media carried attacks about the imported blood case which occurred when he was France's prime minister.

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Nuclear Deal Done, Iran Urged to Free Washington Post Man

The lawyer of a Washington Post reporter jailed in Iran for espionage demanded Tuesday the release of her client, citing the new atmosphere after Tehran's nuclear agreement with world powers.

Her plea comes a week after Iranian-American reporter Jason Rezaian began his second year behind bars.

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Cameroon Deploys 2,000 Extra Troops to Fight Boko Haram

Cameroon will send around 2,000 extra troops to the north of the country to fight Boko Haram, the Nigerian jihadist movement behind bloody cross-border raids and suicide bombings, state television said Tuesday.

"Almost 2,000 extra soldiers will be deployed in the Extreme North region," on the border with northeastern Nigeria, according to the report on Cameroon Radio-Television, which gave no timetable for the operation.

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Singapore, Indonesia Step up Cooperation against IS

Singapore and Indonesia on Tuesday agreed to step up cooperation against the Islamic State (IS) amid fears that militants returning from the Middle East could mount attacks in Southeast Asia.

"We are both worried about ISIS and we both have nationals from our countries involved in these terrorist activities including in the Middle East," Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said after talks with visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

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Obama Says U.S. Stands with Africa against Terror, Conflict

President Barack Obama said Tuesday that the United States stood with Africa to defeat terrorism and end conflict, warning that the continent's progress will "depend on security and peace".

"As Africa stands against terror and conflict, I want you to know the United States stands with you," Obama said in a speech to the African Union, highlighting threats ranging from Somalia's Shebab, Boko Haram in Nigeria, insurgents in Mali and Tunisia, and the Uganda-led Lord's Resistance Army rebels in central Africa.

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