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Ghana Shocked by Politician's Death after Acid Attack

One person has been arrested in Ghana after a leading member of the country's biggest opposition party was attacked with acid and later died, the police said on Friday.

Police spokesman for the Upper East region, Thomas Agbanyo, said a man was detained on suspicion of carrying out the attack on Adam Mahama and another is at large.

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Arrests in Thailand after Anti-Junta Protests on Coup Anniversary

Police arrested several anti-junta activists Friday for small protests marking a year since Thailand's generals seized power from the elected government, as the coup's leader said the country "may have collapsed" without his intervention.

The sporadic but rare acts of defiance against Thailand's generals came as self-exiled and ousted premier Thaksin Shinawatra -- who sits at the heart of the kingdom's bitter political divide -- gave an interview overseas saying he was happy to bide his time to make his comeback.

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Civilians Killed as Armed Groups Clash in Northern Mali

Up to nine civilians, including an aid worker for a European charity, were killed after rebels withdrew from a village they had seized in northern Mali, armed loyalist and anti-government groups said on Friday.

The west African nation's main Tuareg-led rebel alliance, the Coordination of Movements of Azawad (CMA), said in a statement overnight that "the Malian army conducted the summary and public executions of nine people in the town of Tin Hama" on Thursday.

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Intense South Sudan Battles Creating 'Alarming' Aid Conditions

South Sudanese government tanks backed by helicopter gunships have pushed back rebels from a key oil town, state television showed Friday, as aid agencies warned of "alarming" and worsening conditions.

Tanks are shown firing as a helicopter gunship -- believed to belong to the Ugandan army which is fighting alongside government troops -- swoops over the burning town of Melut in the key northern oil state of Upper Nile.

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Kremlin Says Seeking to Free Russians Held by Kiev

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said Friday the Kremlin was doing all it could to secure the release of two men that Ukraine says are captured Russian soldiers.

"These are Russian citizens who are in captivity," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told journalists, quoted by TASS state news agency.

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U.S. Envoy Urges Myanmar Rohingya 'Citizenship' to End Exodus

A senior U.S. diplomat on Friday urged Myanmar to extend "citizenship" to the oppressed Rohingya minority to address an ongoing migrant crisis that has hit Southeast Asia, leaving thousands stranded at sea.

More than 3,500 migrants have swum to shore or been rescued off the coasts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Bangladesh since a Thai crackdown in early May on human-trafficking threw the illicit trade into chaos.

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Macedonia Hands over Nine Killed in Shootout to Kosovo

Macedonian authorities handed over to Kosovo on Friday the bodies of nine ethnic Albanian gunmen killed in clashes with the police earlier this month, officials said.

The return of the bodies was made possible after relatives identified the bodies in Macedonia's capital Skopje, the head of Kosovo's forensic department, Arsim Gerxhaliu, told reporters. 

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China Declares Victory in U.S. Surveillance Overflight

China declared victory on Friday over an encounter with a U.S. surveillance aircraft overflying the contested South China Sea, saying its military "drove away" the intruder with radio warnings. 

Beijing is in the throes of a rapid land-reclamation program in the area, building artificial islands and facilities including an airstrip -- raising tensions with Washington and the risk of a standoff on the high seas.

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Top Authors Urge Bangladesh Govt to Halt Blogger Attacks

Leading authors, including Salman Rushdie and fellow Booker prize winners Margaret Atwood and Yann Martell, called on Bangladesh's government Friday to put an end to a spate of deadly attacks on atheist bloggers.

Three bloggers have been hacked to death by suspected Islamist militants since February, with the latest victim, Ananta Bijoy Das, attacked with machetes during morning rush hour in the city of Sylhet earlier this month.

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South Sudan Journalist Shot Dead

Gunmen in South Sudan have shot dead a radio journalist in the war-torn eastern state of Jonglei, colleagues said Friday.

Pow James Raeth, a correspondent for the independent Radio Tamazuj, was shot dead along with a friend in the town of Akobo by unknown gunmen as they walked to access Internet from an office, the station said.

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