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274 Dead, Hundreds Missing in Philippine Typhoon

At least 274 people have been killed and hundreds remain missing in the Philippines from the deadliest typhoon to hit the country this year, the civil defense chief said Wednesday.

A total of 253 people died in and around the gold-rush mountain towns of New Bataan and Monkayo after Typhoon Bopha Tuesday let loose landslides and flash floods there, Defense Undersecretary and civil defense chief Benito Ramos said.

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N. Korea Completes Installing Rocket

North Korea has completed installing a long-range rocket on its launch pad, ahead of its planned launch this month in defiance of widespread international condemnation, a report said Wednesday.

All three stages of the Unha-3 rocket have been placed on the pad at the North's Sohae satellite launch station, a South Korean government source told Yonhap news agency.

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Suicide Attack Kills Two Pakistan Soldiers

Two suicide bombers targeted Pakistan's main army camp in a key tribal district on the Afghan border Wednesday, killing two soldiers and damaging a field hospital, officials said.

A military official said two suicide bombers drove a double cabin vehicle to the gate of the camp, seven kilometers (four miles) northwest of Wana, the main town of South Waziristan.

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Mali Government, Rebels Agree to Respect 'National Unity'

The Malian government and two rebel groups agreed Tuesday to respect Mali's "national unity" as they held their first talks to try to end the crisis that has split the west African country in two.

Delegations from the government, the Islamist Ansar Dine and the Tuareg MNLA agreed "on the respect for Mali's national unity and territorial integrity," and "on the rejection of any form of extremism and terrorism," they said in a statement.

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Three Dead after Freighter Sinks in Istanbul Storm

A cargo ship with 12 crew on board and a rescue boat sent to the scene sank in a thunderstorm in the Black Sea off Turkey on Tuesday, the transport minister said, adding that three people had perished in the disaster.

Ten people were still missing, Transport Minister Binali Yilirim told the NTV news channel, while four people were rescued from the cargo ship.

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U.S. Urges NATO, Russia to Press N. Korea on Rocket Launch

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tuesday urged her NATO allies and Russia to press North Korea not to carry out its planned rocket launch.

"The United States is deeply concerned about North Korea's recent announcement that it plans to carry out another rocket launch," Clinton told a meeting of the NATO-Russia council.

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Hopes of Deal on Border Crossings at Serbia-Kosovo Talks

The premiers of Serbia and Kosovo hold a third round of EU-brokered talks over a working dinner Tuesday amid hopes of a deal to ease tension along their flashpoint border.

Talks between Serbian Prime Minister Ivica Dacic and his Kosovo counterpart Hashim Thaci will be hosted, as previously, by European Union foreign policy head Catherine Ashton.

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Britain: EU Trade Sanctions against Israel Unlikely

The European Union is unlikely to use trade sanctions to punish Israel over its plans to build new settlements, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Tuesday.

Hague repeated his condemnation of the "illegal" settlements on occupied Palestinian territory and urged Israeli politicians to "listen very carefully" to international diplomatic pressure on the issue.

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Sudan, South Sudan Miss AU Deadline to Resolve Abyei

Sudan and South Sudan have failed to meet an African Union deadline to reach an agreement on the contested Abyei region by December 5, officials said Tuesday, with no talks scheduled on the issue.

The flashpoint Abyei region, a Lebanon-sized area claimed by both sides, is one of the most contentious outstanding issues after South Sudan won independence from former civil war foes in Khartoum in July 2011.

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Merkel Re-Elected Party Chief by over 97 Percent

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was re-elected head of her conservative Christian Democrats (CDU) Tuesday by more than 97 percent of delegates' votes at a two-day party congress.

It was Merkel's best result since she took over as chairman of the CDU in 2000 and comes as she gears up for fighting for a third term at the helm of Europe's top economy in elections expected in September.

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