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South Africa Opposition Leader Envisions 'Non-Racial' Party

The head of South Africa's main opposition party on Saturday outlined her vision for the Democratic Alliance, which she said could win the next general elections in 2014 by following an inclusive, "non-racial" party line.

"We must work tirelessly to bring together all South Africans who share the same values. People who oppose racism in all its forms. People who believe in real freedom," DA leader Helen Zille said at the opening of her party's congress near Johannesburg.

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Russia Frees Physicist Convicted of Spying for China

Russia on Sunday released a physicist who spent eight years in a Siberian prison on charges of spying for China in what supporters maintain was a wrongful conviction motivated by Soviet-style paranoia.

Professor Valentin Danilov was released before dawn from prison number 17 in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, in an early release with over three years of his original sentence remaining, Russian news agencies said.

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Thousands Protest 'Destruction of Public School' in Italy

Thousands of high school students, teachers and unionists demonstrated in Rome and several other Italian cities on Saturday against deep cuts in spending on public education.

"Down with the Crisis and Austerity, Let Us Reclaim Our Lives," read a banner at the head of a march in Rome.

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Darfur Rebels 'Seize' Sudan Army Base

Sudanese rebels have seized an army compound in the Darfur region, the insurgents said on Saturday, as the Red Cross reported the release of three soldiers captured by rebels.

The pre-dawn attack came on Friday about five kilometers (three miles) northeast of Kebkabiya in North Darfur state, said Ibrahim al-Hillu, spokesman for the Sudan Liberation Army's (SLA's) Abdelwahid Nur faction.

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Greeks Demonstrate against Racist Attacks

Hundreds of Greeks joined a demonstration called by leftist groups on Saturday to protest against a rise in racist attacks on migrants attributed to a neo-Nazi group that is now in parliament.

At least 3,000 leftists and anarchists took part in the Athens protest, an AFP reporter said, chanting slogans against the neo-Nazi group Golden Dawn which rights groups say enjoys protection by racist elements within the police.

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Regional Leaders Tell DR Congo Rebels to 'Stop War'

Regional leaders called on DR Congo rebel group M23 Saturday to end hostilities and leave a key eastern town they seized in a rampant advance that has sparked fears of a wider conflict.

The meeting of east African heads of state went forward without a key player -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame, whose country the United Nations accuses of backing the rebels -- and wrapped up after less than an hour.

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Northwest Pakistan Bus Crash Kills 16

At least 16 people were killed and 22 others injured Saturday when a passenger bus collided with a lorry in a mountainous area of northwestern Pakistan, officials said.

The accident happened as the bus traveled from the port city of Karachi to the northwestern town of Swabi in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

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Mexican Police Arrest Man on FBI's Most Wanted List

Mexican federal police said they arrested one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives, a Los Angeles man sought on charges of murder, kidnapping and rape.

U.S. officials in California said Joe Luis Saenz, who is about 37, was taken into custody in the western city of Guadalajara late Thursday and flown to Los Angeles on Friday.

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18 Killed in Southwest China Mine Blast

An explosion at a mine in southwest China killed 18 people Saturday, state media said, the latest incident to hit the industry, which has a notoriously poor safety record.

Another five people were still trapped underground in the pit after the accident at the Xiangshui coal mine in Liupanshui city in Guizhou Province, the Xinhua state news agency said citing provincial government and company sources.

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Palace: Spanish King Has Successful Hip Operation

Spain's 74-year-old King Juan Carlos had successful hip replacement surgery late Friday, the royal palace said, after two operations on the other hip caused by a fall during a controversial African elephant-hunting safari.

"The operation, which lasted 90 minutes, was carried out under general anesthetic and was completely satisfactory," the palace said in a statement.

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