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Russia Backs Ban Ki-moon for 2nd U.N. Term

Russia on Thursday became the last permanent member of the Security Council to support U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's re-election, saying it would back his candidacy in a vote due later in the day.

"We are ready to support the candidacy of the esteemed Ban Ki-moon for a second term as U.N. Secretary General at Thursday's upcoming vote," Interfax quoted foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying.

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Suspected Suicide Bomb Hits Nigeria Police HQ

A powerful bomb blew up inside the Nigerian police headquarters in the capital on Thursday, killing a suspected suicide bomber although other casualties were not immediately clear, officials said.

"The police force headquarters has been bombed, everywhere is bombed," deputy national police spokesman Yemi Ajayi told Agence France Presse from Abuja.

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Taliban Roadside Bomb Kills 4 Afghan Family Members

Four members of the same family, including three women, were killed when a Taliban roadside bomb ripped through their vehicle in southern Afghanistan, police said Thursday.

The incident happened overnight in Maruf district of Kandahar province, an insurgent hotbed, as they traveled by tractor, provincial police Chief General Abdul Razaq said.

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Indonesian Court Jails Radical Cleric over ‘Funding Terrorist Group’

An Indonesian court on Thursday jailed radical Islamist cleric Abu Bakar Bashir for 15 years for funding a terrorist group that was planning attacks against Westerners and political leaders.

The 72-year-old preacher showed little emotion as Judge Herri Swantoro read out the guilty verdict and sentence at the end of a four-month trial in the South Jakarta district court.

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Qaida Names Zawahiri to Succeed bin Laden

Al-Qaida on Thursday named Ayman al-Zawahiri as its new chief to succeed the slain Osama bin Laden and vowed there will be no let up in its "jihad' against the United States and Israel.

"The general command of al-Qaida announces, after consultations, the appointment of Sheikh Ayman al-Zawahiri as head of the group," the jihadist network said in statement posted on an Islamist website.

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Two Plead not Guilty in New York Synagogue Plot

Two men pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of plotting to blow up New York synagogues and churches, U.S. officials said.

Ahmed Ferhani, 26, and Mohamed Mamdouh, 20, were formally charged by the Manhattan district attorney with charges resulting from a "terror plot targeting New York synagogues."

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Obama Insists Libya Action Legal

President Barack Obama insisted Wednesday that the current U.S. military action in Libya was legal, rejecting rising criticism from Congress over the goals and justification of the operation.

In a 30-page report to lawmakers, the White House argued that U.S. participation in the NATO-led assault on Moammar Gadhafi's forces did not require congressional authorization as the U.S. role was only a supporting one.

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Abyei Clashes 'Resume' on Sudan's Embattled Border

Clashes erupted in Abyei Wednesday between north and south Sudanese troops, the southern army said, just days after a deal to demilitarize the disputed area, and as Khartoum stepped up air strikes in neighboring South Kordofan.

Members of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF -- northern army) exchanged fire with the Sudan People's Liberation Army at the Kiir, or Bahr al-Arab, river, the southern army's spokesman told Agence France Presse, without providing details of casualties.

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Russia, China Press Ahmadinejad at Rare Meeting

The leaders of China and Russia on Wednesday pressed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to show more cooperation to resolve the Iranian nuclear standoff, in a rare meeting at a regional security summit.

Presidents Hu Jintao and Dmitry Medvedev held separate meetings with Ahmadinejad but delivered a similar message of the need to improve dialogue, as the Iranian president again denounced the West as "slavers and colonizers".

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Residents Describe 'Scary' China Riots

Residents of a southern Chinese town on Wednesday described frightening scenes of overturned cars engulfed in flames and armed police out in force after days of violent clashes.

A heavy security presence remained on the streets of Zengcheng, which is part of the greater Guangzhou area -- a bustling city in China's industrial heartland packed with migrant workers that lies near the border with Hong Kong.

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