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EU Leaders to Pick New Faces for Top Jobs

European leaders were set to fill two of the top jobs in Brussels on Saturday, with Polish premier and Kremlin critic Donald Tusk favourite to become EU president amid deepening tensions with Russia.

Italy's Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini is meanwhile tipped to head up the 28-member bloc's diplomatic service as it faces a series of challenges on its borders.

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Poland's Tusk to be EU President, Van Rompuy Seems to Let Slip

EU President Herman Van Rompuy appeared to reveal the name of his successor on Saturday as an open microphone caught him confirming Polish premier Donald Tusk was the pick to Cyprus's curious leader.

"We have news? I understand that Donald is OK?" Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades was heard asking Van Rompuy on a video feed of EU leaders entering a summit room for talks to fill two key jobs and discuss the crisis in Ukraine.

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Protesters Descend on British City ahead of NATO Summit

Around a thousand pacifist and anti-nuclear demonstrators marched through Newport on Saturday ahead of the NATO summit in the British city next week.

Various left-wing organizations took part in the protest, including the Stop The War Coalition group and the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND).

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India Says Pakistan Border Ceasefire Violations Are 'Provocative'

India on Saturday branded a string of ceasefire violations along its frontier with rival Pakistan as "serious" and "provocative" and said they were hindering better ties between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

On Saturday, a soldier died in Indian Kashmir in a clash with suspected rebels near the heavily militarised Line of Control (LoC), police said.

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Ukraine Contact Group to Meet Monday in Minsk

The so-called Contact Group on Ukraine will meet Monday in Minsk, Belarussian officials said, as the Kremlin emphasized the importance of having separatists participate.

The Belarussian foreign ministry said representatives of Kiev, Moscow and the OSCE would attend the talks but did not provide details.

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Russia 'Practically in War with Europe,' Says Lithuanian President

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite on Saturday warned Russia was practically at war with Europe and urged tougher sanctions against Moscow.

"Russia is at war against Ukraine and that is against a country which wants to be part of Europe. Russia is practically in war against Europe," said Grybauskaite, one of Moscow's harshest critics, as she arrived for an EU summit.

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Pakistan PM Dismisses Political Crisis as 'Tiny Storm'

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday dismissed a political crisis triggered by protests aimed at unseating his government as "a tiny storm" that would be ended soon.

Thousands of supporters of opposition leader Imran Khan and populist cleric Tahir-ul-Qadri have been camped outside parliament since August 15 demanding Sharif quit, claiming the election which swept him to power last year was rigged.

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Iran Says Fresh U.S. Sanctions Have Deepened Mistrust

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday condemned a new round of American sanctions linked to his country's nuclear activities, saying mistrust had been "further deepened" by the fresh measures.

His remarks followed the U.S. government's announcement of a slew of penalties targeting dozens of Iranian individuals and entities, including shipping and oil companies, banks and airlines.

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Death Toll Rises to 12 in Nigeria Boat Capsize

Two more people were confirmed dead on Saturday after an overloaded boat capsized off the coast of southeast Nigeria, taking the death toll to 12.

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EU Readies New Russia Sanctions as Ukraine Conflict Spirals

The European Union geared up a fresh wave of sanctions against Russia on Saturday with warnings that the escalating conflict in Ukraine was putting all of Europe at risk of war.

Fears of a wider confrontation spiraled after allegations that Russia has sent troops and weapons across the border to help a bloody new counter-offensive by pro-Kremlin rebels.

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