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Castro Hails U.S.-Cuba Thaw, but Says Won't Change Political System

Cuban President Raul Castro said Saturday he was ready to discuss any topic with Washington after the historic bilateral rapprochement, but warned not to expect political change.

And while the leader of the Americas' only communist nation hailed the agreement for removing of an "obstacle" in U.S.-Cuba relations, he reiterated that "the most important thing, the end of the embargo" remained unresolved.

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North Korea Faces U.N. Security Council Scrutiny

North Korea comes under scrutiny Monday at the U.N. Security Council in the first-ever meeting on its dismal rights record, amid calls for Pyongyang to be referred to the International Criminal Court.

Until now, the top U.N. body has focused on North Korea's nuclear program as a security threat, but the scope has widened to human rights following the release of a U.N. commission of inquiry report.

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U.S. Seeks to Overthrow Venezuela Government, Says Official

Tighter new U.S. sanctions against Venezuela are aimed to foment violent unrest to try to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro, his defense minister said Saturday.

"This U.S. interference is aimed at promoting violence... against our institutions" to oust staunch U.S. critic Maduro, Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino told Telesur television.

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France Probes Possible Lone Wolf 'Radical Islamic' Attack

France on Sunday probed a suspected “radical Islamic” attack on police that left two officers seriously injured and the assailant dead, prompting security to be stepped up at police and fire stations nationwide.

Bertrand Nzohabonayo was shot dead Saturday after entering a police station in the central town of Joue-les-Tours armed with a knife, seriously wounding two officers -- slashing one in the face -- and hurting another.

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Mother Charged with Murder of Eight Children in Australia

The mother of seven of eight children killed in Australia was charged with their murder Sunday, police said, describing it as the most tragic episode in their career as a makeshift memorial saw an outpouring of grief.

The 37-year-old, named in local media as Mersane Warria, was charged with eight counts of murder after the bodies of the children -- four girls and four boys aged between two to 14 -- were found in the northern city of Cairns on Friday morning.

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Uzbekistan Votes in Parliamentary Polls

Polls opened in Uzbekistan early Sunday for parliamentary elections in the ex-Soviet Central Asian state where all four competing parties support President Islam Karimov's policies.

More than 20 million voters have registered to elect the 150-seat lower house of parliament, the Oliy Majlis, after the authorities sent out text messages urging people to vote.

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Gunman Kills Two NY Police Officers in Brooklyn

New York was reeling Sunday after the murder of two uniformed cops by a man who said he was seeking revenge for the recent killings of unarmed black men by police.

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New Protests Set in Gabon after Deadly Demo

Gabon braced for new protests on Sunday, the day after three people were killed in a demonstration against President Ali Bongo Ondimba, according to the opposition.

Many more were injured in the violence on Saturday, an opposition coalition said in a statement late Saturday.

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Putin Says No One Can 'Intimidate or Isolate' Russia

President Vladimir Putin said Saturday no country can "intimidate" or "isolate" Russia, after the West imposed new sanctions on Moscow over the Ukraine crisis.

"Of course, no one will be able to intimidate us, or contain and isolate Russia. No one has ever been able to and no one ever will," Putin said in a speech.

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U.N. Removes Former Somali Warlord from Sanctions List

A former Somali warlord who allied to the Islamist Shebab group but severed links this summer has been removed from a U.N. sanctions list.

Mohamed Said Atom, a powerful arms dealer, was targeted with U.N. travel and financial sanctions for "kidnapping, piracy and terrorism."

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