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Russia Charges Protest Leader in Riot Probe

Russia on Friday charged protest leader Sergei Udaltsov with plotting mass riots in a controversial probe that has seen the detention of another activist who claims to have been tortured into confessing.

Udaltsov was charged after being summoned by the Investigative Committee for questioning over an alleged plot to hold mass riots with international funding to topple President Vladimir Putin.

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Suicide Bomber Kills More than 40 at Afghan Mosque

A suicide bomber slaughtered more than 40 people, including five children, when he struck at a mosque in northern Afghanistan after Eid al-Adha prayers on Friday, officials said.

It was the worst death toll in a single attack in Afghanistan since 80 died on December 6 last year in a suicide blast at a shrine in Kabul on the Shiite holy day of Ashura.

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Storm Leaves 6 Dead, 9 Missing in Philippines

Tropical Storm Son-Tinh has left at least six people dead and nine missing in the Philippines, the civil defense chief said on Friday.

The fatalities include one person hit by a tree toppled by strong winds and another who was crushed in a landslide spawned by heavy rains, said the disaster-monitoring council chief Benito Ramos.

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At Least 56 Dead as Communal Violence Hits Myanmar

At least 56 people have been killed and thousands of homes torched in Buddhist-Muslim violence in western Myanmar, casting a shadow over the reformist government's attempts to remake the country's international image.

People have fled their homes in droves following the latest clashes in Rakhine state, which was rocked by communal violence in June that split communities and left tens of thousands of mainly Muslim Rohingya living in camps.

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Hurricane Sandy Kills 21 in Caribbean, Takes Aim at U.S.

Hurricane Sandy pounded the Bahamas on Thursday as it careened toward the eastern United States after claiming 21 lives in the Caribbean, including 11 people killed in eastern Cuba.

The hurricane -- now a category two storm -- has wreaked havoc in Jamaica, Cuba, the Bahamas and Haiti, downing power lines, damaging hundreds of homes and ruining crops.

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S. Korea Suspends Rocket Launch

South Korea suspended its third attempt to send a satellite into orbit by at least three days Friday, after a helium leak was detected in the rocket just hours before scheduled launch time.

With only a five-day launch window that ends October 30, any further delay could result in a much lengthier postponement, officials at the Naro Space Center told reporters.

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Elderly Man Dies as Earthquake Hits Southern Italy

An elderly man died of a heart attack when a 5.3 magnitude earthquake hit the southern Italian province of Cosenza early Friday, also forcing the evacuation of a local hospital, the Italian Ansa news agency reported.

The quake struck in the early hours causing damage to a number of buildings in the area, the agency added.

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Obama, Romney Wage Bitter Ohio Duel

In a spectacular finale on Thursday to a 40-hour campaign sprint, U.S. President Barack Obama launched a searing attack on Mitt Romney in Ohio, the state that may decide their election duel.

But Romney, rallying Republicans in the state's aptly named town of Defiance, mocked Obama's "incredibly shrinking" campaign and stole the president's 2008 mantra, promising "big change" if he wins on November 6.

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Man in Afghan Police Uniform Kills Two U.S. Troops

Two American soldiers were killed by a man in an Afghan police uniform on Thursday, the U.S. military said, the latest in a series of insider attacks that have seriously undermined trust between the allies.

The Afghan conflict has seen an alarming surge in insider attacks this year, with more than 50 soldiers from NATO's U.S.-led International Assistance Force (ISAF) killed by their colleagues in the Afghan army and police.

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Former Secretary of State Colin Powell Endorses Obama

Former U.S. secretary of state Colin Powell endorsed President Barack Obama's re-election bid on Thursday, giving him a symbolic boost in the neck-and-neck White House race days ahead of the vote.

"I voted for him in 2008 and I plan to stick with him in 2012, and I'll be voting for he and for Vice President Joe Biden next month," the Republican heavyweight told CBS television's "This Morning."

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