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Hong Kong's Civilized Protestors on the Charm Offensive

With well-stocked food stands, fastidious recycling, unmanned phone-charging stations and even a chamber ensemble, Hong Kong's huge protests have a distinctly civilized flavor -- part of a charm offensive to maintain mainstream support.

The city is known for its low crime rate and orderly queues. So it is perhaps not surprising that the protests bringing parts of the Asian financial hub to a standstill -- and the political system to an impasse -- reflect its character.

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EU Must Boost Air, Sea Migrant Rescues, Says Amnesty

The EU's new leadership must boost air and naval power in the Mediterranean to rescue migrants who are dying in record numbers trying to reach the continent's shores, Amnesty International said Tuesday.

A new report by the British-based campaign group described a "Fortress Europe" blocking out migrants and refugees, many of them fleeing unrest in Syria and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

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France Declares 'Natural Disaster' in Flood-Hit Towns

France on Tuesday declared a state of natural disaster in about 60 southern towns hit by torrential downpours, which also left the Mediterranean city of Montpellier under water.

Floodwater streamed down roads and highways, engulfing cars as the Lez river burst its banks in the seaside capital of the Languedoc-Roussillon region after it was lashed by record-breaking downpours.

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Obama Cheers 'Historic' Signing of Afghan Security Agreement

Afghanistan and the United States on Tuesday signed a deal to allow about 10,000 U.S. troops to stay in the country next year, as new President Ashraf Ghani took a major step towards mending frayed ties with Washington.

Hamid Karzai, who stood down as president on Monday, had refused to sign the deal -- a disagreement that symbolized the breakdown of Afghan-U.S. relations after the optimism of 2001 when the Taliban were ousted from power.

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Khmer Rouge Leaders Lodge Appeal of Convictions

Two Khmer Rouge leaders have formally appealed convictions for crimes against humanity which saw them handed life sentences by Cambodia's U.N.-backed court.

In August "Brother Number Two" Nuon Chea, 88, and the ex-head of state Khieu Samphan, 83, became the first top leaders to be jailed from a regime responsible for the deaths of up to two million Cambodians from 1975-1979.

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Islamic State's Allure Causes Worry in Southeast Asia

The Islamic State group's jihadist appeal is fanning fears that it could serve as a potent new rallying cry for Southeast Asian extremists who had been largely brought to heel following past deadly terror attacks.

Authorities in Indonesia -- the world's most populous Islamic country -- and Muslim-majority Malaysia have watched with alarm as scores, possibly even hundreds, of their nationals are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join the fight for a hardline Muslim caliphate.

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Man Arrested in Ethiopian Embassy Shooting in Washington

U.S. Secret Service agents arrested a man after he fired a gun outside the Ethiopian embassy in Washington on Monday, U.S. media reported. 

Video shown by Ethiopian television ESAT shows a man standing by the embassy compound and brandishing what appears to be a handgun. 

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Hong Kong Protesters Reject Demands to End Rallies

Hong Kong demonstrators rejected demands immediately to end rallies that have paralyzed the city's downtown, their numbers swelling for a third night before a national holiday Wednesday expected to put their campaign for free elections into overdrive.

Protest leaders are confident of mustering massive crowds, angered at Beijing's refusal to grant full democracy, overnight and into Wednesday for the National Day public holiday marking the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China.

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Fears over Fresh Eruption Halt Japan Volcano Search

Volcanic tremors and fears over a fresh eruption forced rescuers with gas masks to halt operations to recover bodies from a Japanese mountain on Tuesday, 72 hours after its eruption.

Volcanologists warned of the possibility of another major explosion at the 3,067-meter (10,121-foot) Mount Ontake, noting tremors have become larger.

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U.S. Unveils $83 mn in Aid for S. Sudan

The United States on Monday unveiled some $83 million in new aid for South Sudanese refugees who have fled fighting triggering fears of a looming famine.

The International Committee of the Red Cross warned last week that the situation was critical and the scale of South Sudan's food crisis remained unknown, with aid workers fearing the worst in isolated parts of the conflict-ravaged country.

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