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U.S. Ambassador to China Resigns Amid 2012 Rumors

U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman resigned Monday, amid reports that he may seek the Republican nomination in 2012 and try to deprive his boss, President Barack Obama, of a second term.

Huntsman, a smooth former Utah governor, wrote to Obama to announce he would resign effective from April 30, after the White House noted he had told several officials he planned to leave in the first part of this year.

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SKorea's Lee Open to Summit with Kim Jong Il Amid Defense Talks Next Week

South Korea's president pressed North Korea on Tuesday to change its pattern of provocations and take responsibility for two deadly attacks last year, saying that could lead to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

President Lee Myung-bak's appeal came as the rival Koreas are to hold a preliminary meeting next week to lay the groundwork for high-level defense talks — the first in more than three years — to ease months of hostility on the Korean peninsula that have raised fears of war.

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Six Killed in Two Northwest Pakistan Blasts

Six people including four police officers were killed and 14 people wounded in two bomb blasts in Pakistan's northwest on Monday, the first detonated by a teenage suicide bomber.

The suicide attack, which killed five people and left 11 injured, was claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, saying it targeted the police in the troubled city of Peshawar.

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10 Killed in German Train Collision

Ten people died when a regional passenger train collided with a goods train late Saturday in eastern Germany, police and firemen said.

Up to 20 other people were seriously injured in the accident which happened at Hordorf near Oschersleben, in Saxony-Anhalt, firemen and police said. They gave differing numbers.

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Netherlands Freezes Contacts with Iran over Hanging of Dutch Woman

The Dutch government said Saturday it was freezing its contacts with Iran, decrying the hanging of an Iranian-Dutch woman in the Islamic republic as an "act committed by a barbarous regime."

"The Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran" after obtaining confirmation of Zahra Bahrami's execution from Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands, foreign ministry spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told Agence France Presse.

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Buildings Burn after Clashes Injure a Dozen in Nigeria

Filling stations, churches and mosques were set ablaze in central Nigeria's city of Jos on Saturday after students were wounded when soldiers opened fire to quell a protest overnight, security officials and students said.

Clashes had broken out Friday after three university students were stabbed by motor-cycle riding Muslim villagers outside their hostel.

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Deputy Governor Killed in Afghanistan

The deputy governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the spiritual home of the Taliban, was killed in a suicide car bomb attack on Saturday, local authorities said.

Abdul Latif Ashna was killed in the attack in Kandahar city while five others were wounded, the provincial press spokesman said, without providing further details.

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8 Killed in Blast at Kabul Market Frequented by Foreigners

A bomb exploded inside a grocery store frequented by foreigners on Friday in Kabul, killing at least eight people and injuring others, police and eyewitnesses said.

Three foreigners and a child were among the dead, Kabul Police Chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters at the scene.

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South Africa Says 'No Need to Panic' over Mandela Hospitalization

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was starting his third day in a Johannesburg hospital Friday, but the South African government says there is no need to panic.

In a statement late Thursday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe offered no specifics on why Mandela, 92, was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but said he was undergoing specialized tests.

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Indonesian Passenger Ferry Fire Kills 16

At least 16 people were killed when a fire broke out overnight on an Indonesian ferry with more than 400 people on board, the transport ministry said Friday.

The ferry caught fire in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, about three kilometers (two miles) from the port of Merak at the westernmost tip of Java, at around 3:30 am.

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