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Eighteen Decapitated in Apparent Mexico Revenge Attack

Police found the dismembered, decapitated bodies of 18 people in two abandoned vehicles in western Mexico Wednesday in an apparent revenge killing between powerful drug gangs.

Police initially counted 12 bodies dumped in the car on a road between Mexico's second city of Guadalajara and the lakeside city of Chapala, known for its large U.S. expatriate community.

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White House: Putin to Skip G8 Summit in U.S. Next Week

Russia's President Vladimir Putin will skip the G8 summit and ice breaker talks with President Barack Obama next week, the White House said Wednesday, raising new questions about Moscow-Washington ties.

Putin had been expected at the summit at Camp David and to hold talks with the U.S. leader in a first test of whether the "reset" policy between the Kremlin and the White House will survive his return to the presidency.

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Turkey Debates New Charter, Change to Presidential System

Heated debate has gripped Turkey over the redrafting of a military-era constitution and a related question -- whether Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan is trying to cling to power as president.

Parliament has started work to rewrite the 30-year-old national charter to replace a text passed two years after a 1980 military coup, reflecting deep changes in a country now ruled by a moderate Islamist government.

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Students to Kick Off Mass Protests in Spain

Thousands of Spanish students take to the streets on Thursday to demonstrate against crisis cuts in education, the first in several days of social protests across the country.

The national Students' Union has called demonstrations in more than 50 towns, its leader Tohil Delgado told AFP, predicting that thousands of students and teachers would join in despite looming exams.

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Merkel's Party Fights to Grab Major German State

Voters in Germany's most populous state go to the polls Sunday in a closely watched gauge of Chancellor Angela Merkel's political fortunes ahead of a national vote next year in Europe's top economy.

As well as serving as a bellwether for Merkel and her euro crisis-busting strategy, elections in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) state, home to 18 million people, have also sparked major political upheavals in the past.

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All Killed in Russian Plane Crash in Indonesia

All of the dozens aboard a Russian Sukhoi passenger jet flying on a sales promotion trip in Indonesia were killed when the plane slammed into a mountain, officials said on Thursday.

Rescuers who reached the remote site found bodies scattered near the wreckage of Russia's first post-Soviet civilian plane on the sheer face of Mount Salak, outside the city of Bogor, south of Jakarta, officials said.

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Death, Destruction after Darfur Rebel Attack

The United Nations said bodies lay in the battle-damaged town of Girayda on Wednesday, after a brief occupation by rebel troops in the war-plagued Darfur region of western Sudan.

Sudan's army regained control of Girayda town and the surrounding area but nine government soldiers died in the effort, reported the Sudanese Media Center (SMC), which is close to the security apparatus.

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Islamist Militants Killed, Hurt in Nigeria Attack on Troops

Soldiers in the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri killed a suspected member of the Boko Haram Islamist sect and wounded two others on Wednesday after repelling an attack, the army said.

"The JTF (Joint Task Force)... at about 11:15 hours (1015 GMT) today... successfully repelled a suspected Boko Haram attack on one of its locations," an army spokesman said in a statement.

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Survivor: Killer Shouted with Joy during Norway Massacre

Anders Behring Breivik shouted with joy as he fired off round after round on Utoeya island, a survivor of the massacre in Norway last July that left 69 people dead told an Oslo court Wednesday.

Speaking in a clear and decisive voice, Tonje Brenna told the Oslo district court how she had heard the killer's ecstatic shouts as bodies rained around her hiding place in the crack of a cliff.

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Putin Oversees Show of Russian Military Might

Newly-inaugurated President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday presided over Russia's annual display of military power as missiles and thousands of troops paraded across Red Square to mark World War II victory.

Two days after Putin's swearing-in, over 14,000 servicemen marched alongside nuclear-capable missiles to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Soviet victory over Nazi Germany.

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