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Turkish Parliament Opens as Clashes with Kurdish Rebels Flare

The Turkish parliament began a new legislative session Monday in a climate dominated by tough discussions on a new and more democratic constitution and renewed clashes between Kurdish rebels and security forces.

During his traditional speech opening the national assembly's session President Abdullah Gul called on members of the parliament not to "fall into the trap of terrorism", arising from the recent spike in attacks by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in the southeast of the country, and abandon democratic progress in Turkey.

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Boko Haram Chief Issues Video Threat over Anti-Islam Film

The suspected leader of Nigerian Islamist extremist group Boko Haram has issued a threat in a YouTube video over a U.S.-made anti-Islam film that has sparked widespread protests in the Muslim world.

"First, insults against the prophet, evil plots against him, making blasphemous movies against him, all these will do no harm to Islam," Abubakar Shekau says in the video which appears to have been posted on Sunday.

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U.S. Would Back 'Well Planned' African-Led Force for Mali

The United States would support a "well planned" and "well resourced" African-led force to help oust Islamic rebels in northern Mali, provided its neighbors back the idea, a U.S. official said Monday.

"Yes, I say there will have to be at some point military action to push" the rebels linked to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb out of northern Mali, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, Johnnie Carson, said.

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Russia Bans 'Extremist' U.S.-Made Anti-Islam Film

A Russian court on Monday banned as "extremist" a U.S.-made anti-Islamic film that sparked deadly protests across the Arab world but whose showing was backed by human rights supporters in Russia.

Moscow's Tverskoi District judge sided with prosecution arguments presented in court that the low-budget "Innocence of Muslims" production "promoted the rise of religious intolerance in Russia."

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Ankara Seeks Extension for Kurd Rebel Strikes

The Turkish government asked parliament Monday to renew the mandate for its armed forces to attack Kurdish rebel bases in Iraq for another year, amid an upsurge in clashes between the two sides.

The assembly will prioritize debate on the bill submitted by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), parliamentary sources said, with the current mandate expiring on October 17.

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Norwegian Blogger Posts Mohammed Cartoon

A Norwegian writer and commentator of Syrian origin has published a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed on her blog in what she said was a show of support for freedom of speech.

The drawing posted by Sarah Mats Azmeh Rasmussen shows a bearded man standing next to three people, including two women who are almost entirely veiled, with the caption: "If you do not like to be drawn, cover yourself, Prophet."

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Taliban Suicide Attack Kills 14, Including NATO Troops

A suicide bomber tore through an Afghan-NATO foot patrol in a crowded city on Monday, killing at least 14 people, including three foreign troops and their interpreter, officials said.

Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack near a market in the eastern city of Khost. Four Afghan police and six civilians were also killed, and 57 were wounded, local officials said.

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Powerful Typhoon Kills Two, Hurts Scores in Japan

Powerful Typhoon Jelawat left at least two people dead and more than 180 injured in Japan over the weekend before passing out into the Pacific on Monday, the weather agency and local media said.

The typhoon, packing winds of up to 126 kilometers (78 miles) per hour, was northeast of Nemuro in eastern Hokkaido over the Pacific at 0200 GMT, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

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Bangladesh Deploys Troops after New Attacks on Buddhists

Bangladesh sent in troops to guard Buddhist neighborhoods on Monday after Muslim mobs carried out fresh attacks on temples and homes over a Facebook photo deemed offensive to Islam.

At least six temples were attacked in different neighborhoods of the resort region of Cox's Bazaar on late Sunday, with thousands of protestors smashing statues of Lord Buddha before riot police used force to repel the crowds.

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Japan PM Reshuffles Cabinet, Names New Finance Minister

Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda reshuffled his cabinet on Monday, naming Koriki Jojima, a senior member of the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), as new finance minister.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba was among heavyweight names keeping their posts in the reshuffle as Noda looks to move past a damaging row with China and boost his flagging popularity.

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