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Police Raid Spanish Ruling Party Offices in Graft Probe

Spanish police on Thursday raided the offices of construction firm OHL and the Popular Party of acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in a corruption probe, a judicial source said.

The source said police searched the office properties of former PP official Beltran Gutierrez and OHL board member Javier Lopez, as they pursue a bribery and money laundering probe.

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Bolivia President Fends Off Corruption Claims

Bolivia's President Evo Morales fended off corruption allegations Wednesday, demanding investigations to show he has "nothing to hide," as he prepares for a vote that could help extend his term.

Morales' opponents have accused him of influence-peddling linked to a Chinese construction firm in which his ex-girlfriend holds a top post and which won multimillion-dollar state contracts.

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U.S. Voices Concern Ukraine Security, Calls for Govt. Unity

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday expressed concern about signs of renewed conflict in eastern Ukraine, while calling on the country's shaky coalition government to unite and implement reforms.

In a call with Petro Poroshenko, the White House said Biden and the Ukrainian president "expressed serious concern about the worsening security situation in eastern Ukraine," as fighting ticked up after a months-long lull.

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Erdogan Threatens to Send Refugees to EU as NATO Steps In

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday threatened to send the millions of refugees in Turkey to European Union (EU) member states, as NATO agreed to deploy ships to the Aegean Sea to ease the migrant crisis.

In a speech in Ankara, Erdogan stepped up his denunciations of Western policy in the refugee crisis, confirming he had threatened EU leaders at a summit meeting in November that Turkey could say "goodbye" to the refugees.

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French Parliament Sets Up Probe into 2015 Attacks

French lawmakers have formed a commission of inquiry into possible security failings over two major terror attacks in Paris in 2015 that left 147 people dead, a deputy said Thursday.

The commission, which was formed at the request of the conservative opposition Republicans party, held its first meeting on Tuesday, according to one of its members who spoke on condition of anonymity. 

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S. African Police Fire Stun Grenades ahead of Zuma Address

South African police fired stun grenades to disperse angry protesters outside parliament on Thursday shortly before President Jacob Zuma was due to deliver his annual state of the nation address.

The embattled president faces moves in court, in parliament and on the streets to have him impeached or dumped by the ruling African National Congress (ANC).

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Ban, Trudeau Meeting Marks Canada's Returns to World Stage

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's visit Thursday to meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau marked the return of Canada on the world diplomatic stage, after a decade-long retreat from multi-lateralism.

"I want to restore Canada's voice and leadership role at the U.N.," Trudeau said ahead of Ban's arrival in Ottawa, casting the first visit of a U.N. chief in years as recognition of the new Liberal government's commitment to working in concert with other nations.

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Former French PM Ayrault Named Foreign Minister in Govt. Shake-up

French President Francois Hollande reshuffled his cabinet Thursday, naming Jean-Marc Ayrault foreign minister and adding several ecologists to government as he seeks to widen his political base ahead of a presidential poll in 2017.

Ayrault, a 66-year-old former prime minister, will become France's top diplomat after veteran politician Laurent Fabius bowed out of politics to take up a post at the Constitutional Council.

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Grenade Wounds 26 in Burundi Capital

Twenty-six people were injured, nine of them seriously, when a grenade exploded Thursday in the Burundi capital of Bujumbura, local police said.

The grenade was thrown onto a crowded street in the city's Buyenzi district by a man on a motorbike, witnesses and a journalist said.

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New Latvian PM Vows Reforms as Parliament Backs his Coalition

Latvia's new prime minister vowed to push ahead with social reforms on Thursday as his center-right coalition won a vote of confidence in parliament.

Former development minister Maris Kucinskis, 54, succeeded as premier Laimdota Straujumaafter, who resigned in December after two years following a power wrangle inside her party. Kucinski will lead the same three-party coalition.

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