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France Reducing Tehran Embassy Staff

France has decided to temporarily downsize its embassy in Tehran as a precautionary measure following the storming of the British embassy earlier in the week, a French diplomat told AFP on Saturday.

The decision will affect part of the diplomatic staff as well as all of the families of French personnel at the embassy but not the French community in Tehran, the diplomatic source said.

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Russia Braces for Parliamentary Elections

Russians prepared Saturday for parliamentary elections amid dwindling support for the ruling United Russia party and unprecedented pressure on election observers.

Voting in the world's largest country will begin at 2000 GMT Saturday in the Russian Far East regions and end 21 hours later when polling stations close at 1700 GMT Sunday in the exclave of Kaliningrad wedged between Poland and Lithuania.

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China Parades Tibetans Accused of Separatism

Tibetans arrested by Chinese security forces have been paraded with placards around their necks indicating their names and alleged crimes such as "separatism", according to photographs published Saturday by the Free Tibet campaign group.

The pictures were taken in the ethnic Tibetan prefectures of Ganzi and Aba in Sichuan province, the Chinese dissident website said Friday, according to the London-based group.

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Expelled Iranian Diplomats Arrive in Tehran

Iran's diplomats expelled from London over the storming of the British embassy in Tehran this week arrived in the Iranian capital early Saturday, Iranian media reported.

The group of diplomats was kept out of sight of waiting media as they passed through back corridors in Tehran's international airport after landing aboard an Iran Air flight.

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Norway Massacre: Intel Chief Apologizes but Keeps Job

The head of Norwegian intelligence agency PST apologized Friday for making misleading statements after the mass killings by a rightwing extremist in July, but said she did not intend to resign.

"As head of PST, I apologize. I take the responsibility as head of PST and I will remain head of PST," Janne Kristiansen, who had been forced to cut short a trip abroad to respond to swelling criticism, told a news conference.

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‘Deep Concern' over New Landmine Use as Summit Ends

Over 100 nations hailed global progress on landmine eradication on Friday but voiced "deep concern" over the fresh use of the weapon in four countries as a large anti-mine summit ended in Cambodia.

Signatories to the 1997 Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention expressed "deep concern about new use of anti-personnel mines" in a text adopted after a week-long gathering in the capital Phnom Penh.

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Iranian Diplomats Leave Britain after Protest Violence

Iran's diplomats in Britain prepared to leave the country Friday as a deadline loomed for their expulsion following the storming of the British embassy in Tehran by protesters.

The Iranian flag was still flying outside the Iranian embassy in west London ahead of the deadline at around 1400 GMT, but TV pictures showed a removals van outside the ambassador's residence.

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ICC Prosecutor Seeks Warrant for Sudan's Defense Minister

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court asked judges Friday for an arrest warrant for Sudan's defense minister over crimes committed in Darfur, his office said.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked the court "to issue an arrest warrant against the current Sudanese Defense Minister Abdelrahim Mohamed Hussein for crimes against humanity and war crimes committed in Darfur from August 2003 to March 2004," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

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HRW: At Least 18 Civilians Killed during DR Congo Vote

Election-related violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 18 civilians between November 26 and 28, Human Rights Watch said Friday, urging an end to killings by security forces.

"The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo should immediately rein in its security forces, especially the Republican Guard, and prevent the targeting of political opponents and their supporters in the aftermath of the November 28, 2011 presidential and legislative elections," the group said in a statement.

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Factory Workers Go on Strike, Clash with Police in Shanghai

More than 1,000 workers at a plant in China's commercial hub Shanghai went on strike for at least two days, some clashing with police, to protest staff being laid off, a rights group said Friday.

Several workers were injured in conflicts with police at the factory, owned by a Singapore electronics firm that supplies companies including Apple and computer maker Hewlett Packard, U.S.-based China Labor Watch said in a statement.

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