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Ukraine's Tymoshenko Accused of Contract Killing

Prosecutors on Friday accused Ukraine's jailed former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko of organizing the 1996 murder of a powerful lawmaker and warned that a guilty verdict could put her behind bars for life.

Prosecutor General Viktor Pshonka said the fiery 52-year-old has been informed by prosecutors she and another former prime minister detained in the United States are now formal suspects in the murder of deputy Yevgen Shcherban.

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U.N. ex-Official Warns of Ethnic Cleansing in South of Sudan

A former top U.N. official in Sudan on Friday warned that "ethnic cleansing" is going on in the southern part of Sudan, where the people are suffering from hunger, disease and bombing in two war-torn states.

Just back from a trip to Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, where conflict between rebels and Sudanese government forces has raged for over a year, Mukesh Kapila called on the international community to come to the aid of the some 1.5 million people living in these states that border South Sudan.

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Police Foil Attack on Turkey Church

Turkish police have arrested 13 suspects accused of plotting an attack against members of a Protestant church and their pastor in a northwestern city, a local official said on Friday.

"The suspects who were arrested by the counter-terrorism units on Tuesday are accused of plotting an attack on the members of the Christian community and their leader" in the city of Izmit, the official told Agence France Presse on condition of anonymity.

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Biden to Begin European Tour Next Month

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Germany, France and Britain early next month for wide-ranging talks at the start of President Barack Obama's new administration, the White House said Friday.

"At all stops, the vice president will discuss with key leaders a full range of bilateral, regional and global issues," the White House said in a statement.

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Algerian Army Frees 650 Hostages, Including 70 Foreigners as Gunmen Seek Negotiation on Ending Mali Operation

Algerian special forces have freed nearly 650 hostages from Islamist gunmen at a remote gas plant near the Libyan border, but some 60 foreigners are still missing, national media said on Friday.

"Nearly 650 hostages seized in the attack carried out on Wednesday by a terrorist group... among them 573 Algerians and more than half of the 132 foreign hostages, were freed" by Algerian special forces, the APS news agency reported.

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Brother of Qaida Chief at Cairo anti-France Demo

The brother of al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri joined dozens of Egyptian Islamists in a protest Friday near the French embassy in Cairo against French intervention in Mali.

Mohammed al-Zawahiri took part in the demonstration during which protesters accused Paris of being "at war against Islam".

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Terrorists Have No Place to Hide, Says Panetta

"Terrorists" who attack U.S. interests have no place to hide, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday as fears grew for dozens of foreigners taken hostage by Islamists at a gas plant in Algeria.

"Terrorists should be on notice that they will find no sanctuary, no refuge. Not in Algeria, not in north Africa, not anywhere," Panetta said in a speech at Kings College London university.

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France Seeks to 'Speed up' African Force Deployment in Mali

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said he would attend an emergency summit of the west African bloc ECOWAS on Saturday to help accelerate the deployment of an African military force in Mali.

"I will go there with a military attache and we will see with our African friends how we can speed up the deployment of MISMA (the International Mission for Mali Assistance)," he told AFP.

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Islamists behind Algeria Raid Threaten More Strikes

Islamists who held several hostages at an Algerian gas plant sparking a bloody commando raid threatened Friday to stage more attacks, according to a spokesman cited by the Mauritanian news agency.

"Taking into account the suffering of the Algerian people, we promise the regime in place that there will be more operations," a spokesman for the "Signatories in Blood" told ANI.

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Cameron: Algerians still Pursuing 'Terrorists' at Gas Field

The Algerian army is still pursuing "terrorists" at the Algerian gas plant and still searching for hostages at the site, British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament on Friday.

Cameron said the first stage of the military operation was complete, "but this is a large and complex site and they are still pursuing terrorists and possibly some of the hostages in other areas of the site".

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