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Karzai to Announce Next Areas for NATO Handover

President Hamid Karzai will shortly unveil up to 17 more areas transferring from NATO to Afghan control as Afghanistan prepares to take full responsibility for security by 2014, an official said Wednesday.

Badakhshan, Badghis, Balkh, Daykundi, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Kabul, Laghman, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-i-pul, Takhar and Wardak provinces are likely to be announced by Karzai at next month's regional conference in Istanbul, said the country's local government directorate.

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Turkey Accepts Foreign Aid, Including from Israel, for Quake

Turkey will accept foreign aid, including from Israel, to cope with a major earthquake that has left 459 people dead, a diplomatic source said Wednesday.

Turkey initially turned down offers of international aid after Sunday's 7.2-magnitude earthquake, but the source said Ankara changed its mind because of the urgent need for housing materials for those left homeless.

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Bangkok's Second Airport Shuts as Floods Advance

Bangkok's second airport shut down Tuesday as floodwaters advanced into the Thai capital, forcing authorities in "crisis mode" to declare a five-day public holiday in preparation for the deluge.

The cabinet ordered an October 27-31 holiday for Bangkok and 20 other provinces affected by the kingdom's worst flooding in decades, amid warnings a high tide would surge up the capital's main river and escalate the disaster.

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Desperate Hunt for Survivors after Turkey Quake

Rescuers on Tuesday pulled a pregnant woman and her two children alive from the rubble 35 hours after a devastating earthquake killed at least 366 people in eastern Turkey, reviving fading hopes of finding more survivors.

Derya Coskun, her daughter Elif and son Ozer were plucked from the debris in Ercis, the town worst hit by Sunday's 7.2 magnitude quake in Van province, media reports said.

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U.S. Most Powerful Nuclear Bomb Being Dismantled

The last of the nation's most powerful nuclear bombs — a weapon hundreds of times stronger than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima — is being disassembled nearly half a century after it was put into service at the height of the Cold War.

The final components of the B53 bomb will be broken down Tuesday at the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, the nation's onlynuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility. The completion of the dismantling program is a year ahead of schedule, according to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration, and aligns with President Barack Obama's goal of reducing the number of nuclear weapons.

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Four Killed in Pakistan Bomb Attack

A roadside bomb targeted an anti-Taliban militia member in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday, ripping through his vehicle and killing four people, police said.

The blast badly damaged the militiaman's car in a remote village in the district of Lower Dir, where Pakistan launched a major operation designed to dislodge a Taliban insurgency in 2009.

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Nicaraguan Naval Vessel Missing in Caribbean Storm

A Nicaraguan naval vessel on an evacuation mission went missing Monday in the Caribbean with 27 people on board as nearby Hurricane Rina took aim at the tourist resort beaches of Belize and Mexico.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega had ordered the ship to remove people from flood-prone coastal areas but contact was lost after four sailors had picked up 23 fishermen, the nation's military said.

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Two Grenade Blasts Rattle Nairobi, at Least One Killed

Grenade blasts at a blue-collar bar and a crowded bus stop rattled Nairobi, as the country worried whether al-Qaida-linked militants from Somalia were carrying out their promise to launch reprisal attacks in Kenya's capital.

The attacks on Monday came only two days after the U.S. warned of "imminent" terror attacks.

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10,000 Flee Fighting in Southern Philippines

About 10,000 people have fled their homes amid fighting between Muslim rebels and government forces in the southern Philippines, a civil defense official said Tuesday.

The displaced accounts for about one in seven residents of the towns of Payao, Alicia and Talusan on Mindanao Island, home of a decades-old Muslim insurgency, said provincial disaster monitoring Chief Adriano Fuego.

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WikiLeaks Suspends Publishing Due to Lack of Funds

The whistleblowing website WikiLeaks said Monday it was suspending publishing classified U.S. diplomatic files to focus instead on fundraising "to ensure our future survival."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said that as a result of a financial "blockade" mounted by Visa, Mastercard and other companies, it was "now forced to temporarily suspend its publishing operations and aggressively fundraise."

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