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U.S.-led Aircraft Hit IS in Iraq With 12 Strikes

U.S. and allied aircraft pounded the Islamic State group on Thursday and Friday with 12 air strikes in Iraq and six raids near the contested Syrian town of Kobane, the American military said.

U.S. Central Command, which is overseeing the air war against the jihadists, announced the latest round of air raids after the French military said a coalition operation overnight had dropped dozens of bombs on an IS arsenal and training camp in northern Iraq.

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Detainee at Afghan Prison to Face Trial in U.S.

A Russian held for years by the U.S. military in Afghanistan will be flown to the United States to face trial, marking the first such transfer for a foreign fighter from the country, officials said Friday.

The detainee is one of 13 foreigners who remain under detention by U.S. authorities at a wing of the Parwan prison near Bagram in Afghanistan, on suspicion of fighting with Taliban insurgents.

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16,000 Armenians Rally Against Poverty, Graft

Some 16,000 opposition supporters rallied in the Armenian capital on Friday to protest against President Serzh Sarkisian's rule and demanded snap polls.

They accused the government of failing to stem poverty and corruption in the landlocked former Soviet republic.

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Canada Shooter Struggled with Addiction, Turned to Islam

A gunman who stormed Canada's parliament after killing a soldier at a nearby war memorial was a petty criminal fighting a drug addiction and was estranged from his family, reports said Friday.

Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, had moved across the country to westernmost British Columbia province to try to start over following a drug conviction in Montreal.

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Kerry Says 'Premature' to Talk of U.S. Troop Cuts in Asia

Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday it was too early to discuss cutting the number of U.S. troops stationed in Asia and South Korea, amid increased tensions on the heavily guarded peninsula.

The warning came a day after Washington and Seoul agreed to delay transfer of the Pentagon's control of Korean troops in the event of war with the North. No new date was set to handover the powers.

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Rousseff Up, Neves Reeling as Brazil Heads to Run-Off

After a no-holds-barred campaign, Brazil's leftist leader Dilma Rousseff is the favorite heading into a presidential run-off election Sunday against bruised center-right challenger Aecio Neves.

As the hard-fought race to lead the world's seventh-largest economy entered the final stretch, two opinion polls released Thursday gave Rousseff -- looking to extend 12 years of Workers' Party (PT) rule -- a six- to eight-point lead over Neves, the business-world favorite.

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U.N. Clamps Down on Somalia Shebab 'Lifeline'

Despite reservations from Russia and Jordan, the U.N. Security Council on Friday authorized snap inspections off Somalia's coast of ships suspected of carrying charcoal sold by Shebab Islamists.

About a third of some $250 million in annual revenue from the charcoal trade flows directly to the coffers of the al-Qaida-linked Shebab fighting the Mogadishu government, according to a U.N. monitoring group.

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U.S. Worried by 'Negative Trends' in Hungary

The top U.S. diplomat in Hungary warned Friday "negative trends" have taken hold in the EU member, days after Washington issued entry bans on six government officials it suspects of corruption.

"All the reports are showing negative trends, we want to stop these trends as we are good allies," U.S. charge d'affaires Andre Goodfriend told a news conference in Budapest on Friday. "You can see the line going downward".

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Canada PM Reportedly Hid in a Closet during Attack

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was shoved into a closet when a gunmen stormed parliament, local newspapers said Friday.

According to MPs cited anonymously by the daily Globe & Mail and others, Harper spent as much as 15 minutes in the tiny space off a meeting room where he and his Conservative caucus were meeting.

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NATO Calls on Russia to Withdraw Troops ahead of Ukraine Poll

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg called on Russia Friday to withdraw its troops from Ukraine as the country prepares for key national elections which pro-Moscow rebels plan to prevent in areas they control.

Stoltenberg, who took office last month with the crisis top of his agenda, said Russia's continued presence and support for the rebels violated international law, as well as  Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

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