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Mali Parliament Approves Amnesty for Coup Leaders

The parliament in Mali on Friday passed a law granting amnesty to the leaders of the March coup that plunged what was considered one of Africa's democratic success stories into chaos.

The text, which must be signed by the president before becoming law, was part of an agreement signed by the putschists and west African bloc ECOWAS on April 6 to restore constitutional order in the country. It was passed by the 122 deputies present in the national assembly, according to an Agence France Presse reporter.

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Guantanamo Tribunal Weighs Separate 9/11 Trials

A special U.S. military tribunal at Guantanamo is weighing whether to hold separate trials for five accused plotters of the September 11 attacks, a defense lawyer said Friday.

The men, who are being held at Guantanamo Bay, were formally charged earlier this month with crimes that include murder and terrorism. They face the death penalty if convicted for their roles in the Al-Qaida attacks that claimed 2,976 lives in New York, Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

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NATO Protesters Demand 'Robin Hood' Tax

Hundreds of nurses wearing Robin Hood hats and red t-shirts calling for "an economy for the 99 percent" rallied in Chicago Friday ahead of the NATO summit.

"NATO is here, the time is right for dancing in the streets," they sang as the cheerful crowd broke out into a dance routine.

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Hollande Meets Obama, Sticks to Afghan Withdrawal Pledge

France's President Francois Hollande used his White House debut Friday to restate his intention to get French combat troops home from Afghanistan this year -- breaking with NATO's 2014 schedule.

Hollande met U.S. President Barack Obama for the first time since taking office three days ago, ahead of a testing weekend of international summits, with G8 leaders at Camp David and NATO chiefs at a 61-nation gathering in Chicago.

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Russia Postpones Controversial Bill on Protest Fines

Russia's parliament on Friday postponed a debate on a controversial bill that would massively hike fines for unsanctioned protests after opposition parties threatened a boycott.

The Duma lower house was due to debate the bill in its first reading Friday, but speaker Sergei Naryshkin announced it would be postponed until Tuesday after meeting the leaders of the four parties, RIA Novosti reported.

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Russia Evacuates 1,800 after Arms Stockpile Fire

Russian emergency workers evacuated about 1,800 people from their homes Friday after a fire broke out at a military base in the country's Far East, sparking an explosion of stored shells.

Russian Railways, the company that manages the country's vast rail network, said it had closed down a section of the Trans-Siberian Railway because of the incident and was expecting train delays.

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Netanyahu Says Iran Looks to 'Delay, Deceive' in Atomic Talks

Iran is looking to deceive the world over its nuclear program in talks with the P5+1 group of world powers, Israel premier Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday after talks with Czech President Vaclav Klaus.

"It looks as though they see the talks as another opportunity to delay and deceive and buy time, pretty much as North Korea did for many years," he said, just days ahead of the next round of negotiations which are to take place in Baghdad on May 23.

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Two NATO Troops Killed in Afghan Attack

Two NATO soldiers were killed and six others wounded in a rocket attack on their base in Afghanistan's eastern province of Kunar Friday, an Afghan official with NATO forces said.

"Two ISAF soldiers were killed and six others injured in a Taliban rocket attack on an ISAF base in Nari ditrict today," a local spokesman for NATO's International Security Assistance Force said.

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Report: Russia Jails Missile Spy for 8 Years

Russia on Friday sentenced a worker at a weapons plant to eight years in jail for handing over secret information to foreign intelligence, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

The Sverdlovsk regional court found Alexander Gniteyev guilty of treason and he will serve his term in a high-security prison, it cited a court statement as saying.

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U.S. Stresses Future France Role in Afghanistan

The United States stressed Thursday that France would still contribute to the NATO operation in Afghanistan, despite new President Francois Hollande's promise to withdraw combat troops this year.

A day before Obama welcomes Hollande to the Oval Office for their first meeting, the White House stressed that the overall NATO combat mission would not end in Afghanistan until 2014.

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