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Hollande Urges Germany to Do More in IS Fight

French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday urged Germany to do more in the fight against Islamic State jihadists after he held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel following the Paris attacks.

Hollande met his closest EU partner during a week of intense but so far faltering efforts by France to build a coalition to crush IS in its fiefdom in Iraq and Syria.

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Rescued Russian Pilot Says No Warning before Jet Downed as Moscow Slams 'Provocation'

Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of a "planned provocation" over the downing of a warplane on the Syrian border as a rescued pilot claimed that no warning had been given.

As the diplomatic fallout from Tuesday's incident raged on, Ankara sought to play down tensions and its allies in NATO issued urgent appeals for restraint.

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U.S. Probe: MSF Hospital Strike 'Caused Primarily by Human Error'

A deadly air strike on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital was "caused primarily by human error," the U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday, promising disciplinary action as he detailed a U.S. investigation into the catastrophic attack.

The October 3 air raid on the French charity's hospital during a Taliban offensive in the northern city of Kunduz killed at least 30 people, sparked an avalanche of global condemnation and forced the facility to close.

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Hollande Calls for Display of French Flags on Day of Mourning

President Francois Hollande on Wednesday called on French citizens to deck their homes with the national flag during a day of mourning later this week for victims of the Paris attacks.

Friday will be a day of homage to the 130 people killed by jihadists in the November 13 assaults, and the president urged citizens "to participate by decorating their homes with the blue, white and red flag," government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said.

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U.N. Says Cyprus Leaders Progressing toward Peace in 'Near Future'

Rival Cypriot leaders are making progress in United Nations-brokered peace talks aimed at reunifying the long-divided island "in the near future," U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide said Wednesday.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci met Wednesday, wrapping up six face-to-face meetings in November as part of an intensified process.

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Cheering Crowds, Security Fears as Pope Starts Landmark Africa Trip

Pope Francis landed in Kenya's capital Nairobi Wednesday on the first leg of a landmark three-nation trip to Africa, greeted with cheering crowds and traditional dancers.

As the papal plane trundled across the tarmac, a Kenyan and a Vatican flag flying from the front, crowds decked in brightly-colored clothes, arms around each other's shoulders, bounced up and down waiting for the plane to halt.

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Biden Discusses Security, Migrants at Balkans Summit

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden arrived in Zagreb on Wednesday for a Western Balkans summit, highlighting renewed interest from Washington in the fragile region as it deals with an unprecedented influx of refugees.

A 4,000-strong police deployment lined the Croatian capital and some schools were closed downtown ahead of the afternoon summit, which brings together eight heads of state and European Union president Donald Tusk.

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Afghan Army Launches Rescue Bid after Helicopter Reported Shot Down

The Afghan army launched an operation Wednesday to rescue 18 hostages captured by the Taliban after their helicopter crash-landed in the north, as the private firm operating the aircraft said it was shot down.

The Taliban killed three of those on board -- two Afghans and a foreigner -- in an initial firefight and took the rest captive after the Tuesday crash, the Afghan defense ministry said in a statement.

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Iran Says Russian Jet Downing 'Wrong Signal to the Terrorists'

Turkey's downing of a Russian fighter jet "sends the wrong message to the terrorists" in Syria, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov late Tuesday.

"Such actions will lead to an escalation of the Syrian crisis and sends the wrong message to the terrorist groups," foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber-Ansari quoted Zarif as saying. 

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Russian Activists Hurl Stones, Eggs at Turkish Embassy in Moscow

Several hundred young activists on Wednesday hurled stones and eggs at Turkey's embassy in Moscow and brandished anti-Turkish placards after Ankara downed a Russian warplane on the Syrian border.

The activists threw eggs, paint and paper planes at the diplomatic mission and broke several windows as Moscow police urged them to stop the protest but did not intervene, an AFP photographer reported from the scene. 

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