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Cruise Captain Blames others at Italy Shipwreck Appeal

Disgraced skipper Francesco Schettino Thursday began his battle to avoid prison for the 2012 cruise ship disaster off Italy in which 32 people died, his lawyers arguing that others should shoulder the blame.

Schettino was sentenced in February 2015 to 16 years and one month in jail after a judge ruled his recklessness caused the accident that ensued after the giant Costa Concordia struck underwater rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio.

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Turkish Journalists Get 2 Years Jail for Publishing Mohammed Cartoon

An Istanbul court on Thursday sentenced two prominent Turkish journalists to two years behind bars for illustrating their columns with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed originally published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The sentence handed to columnists Hikmet Cetinkaya and Ceyda Karan, both columnists with the opposition Cumhuriyet daily, intensified alarm over press freedoms in Turkey under strongman President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has made Islam the cornerstone of his politics.

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OSCE: Ukraine Ceasefire Violations 'Highest in Months'

Ceasefire violations in eastern Ukraine have reached their highest level in months, with violence again reaching "worrying levels," the chief OSCE monitor said Thursday.

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U.K. Expats Lose Legal Battle for EU Referendum Vote

A British World War II veteran living in Italy on Thursday lost his legal challenge against a rule barring long-term expatriates from voting in Britain's European Union referendum.

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Serbia Polls Results on Hold after PM, Opposition Complain

Serbia's electoral commission has asked some voters to recast their ballots after both opposition groups and powerful Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic, who won by a landslide, disputed the regularity of the weekend polls.

The repeat votes at 15 polling stations, likely to take place next week, mean the final results of Sunday's general election will not be announced on Thursday, as required by law.

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Seoul: N. Korea Registers Multiple Test Failures with New Missile

North Korea on Thursday made two failed bids to test fire a powerful, new medium-range ballistic missile, in a thwarted display of military strength ahead of a landmark ruling party congress.

South Korea's defense ministry said an initial morning launch of what was understood to be a Musudan missile saw the rocket plunge back to earth seconds after take-off.

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U.N. Chief Slams 'Increasingly Restrictive' EU Refugee Policies

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon hit out Thursday at what he called "increasingly restrictive" refugee policies in Europe as the continent faces its worst migrant crisis in decades.

"I am concerned that European countries are now adopting increasingly restrictive immigration and refugee policies," Ban said in a speech to the Austrian parliament.

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Report: Turkey Arrests 12 in Bid to Identify Female Bomber

Turkish police on Thursday arrested 12 suspects as they stepped up efforts to identify a female bomber who blew herself up in the city of Bursa, wounding 13 people, state media said.

The arrests took place in Bursa, Istanbul, the southeastern city of Sanliurfa and Afyon in central Turkey, Anatolia news agency said.

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Guatemala Landfill Slide Kills Four

A collapsing pile of refuse in a landfill in Guatemala's capital on Wednesday killed four people picking through the trash and injured 15 others, emergency officials said.

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Sheriff: U.S. 2-year-old Fatally Shoots Mother in Back

A 2-year-old boy fatally shot his mother from the back seat of the car as she drove along a Milwaukee highway, sheriff's officials said Wednesday, less than two months after a Florida mother was shot and wounded in similar circumstances.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said Patrice Price, 26, of Milwaukee, died at the scene Tuesday morning.

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