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Obama Frets over 'Lone Wolf'

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday played down prospects for a spectacular al-Qaida attack 10 years after the September 11th strikes, saying he worried more now about solitary extremists.

"The most likely scenario that we have to guard against right now ends up being more of a lone wolf operation than a large, well coordinated terrorist attack," he told CNN television during a campaign-style swing through Iowa.

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Chavez Says Weakened by Treatment but Cancer Hasn’t Spread

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday the cancer he has been battling has not spread, but admitted the chemotherapy treatment he is receiving had left him weakened.

"Chemotherapy hits hard," Chavez said in comments late Tuesday, noting that his body's defenses were down and that he had "areas of weakness" due to treatment he has been receiving in Cuba.

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Army Surrounds China Monastery after Monk's Death

Soldiers and police on Tuesday surrounded a monastery in southwest China where a Tibetan monk set himself on fire and died, sparking fears of a fresh crackdown on the area's large Tibetan population.

The death of the 29-year-old monk, who campaigners said drank petrol before setting himself alight, came five months after a similar incident in a nearby area triggered protests and a huge security crackdown.

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Female Afghan Government Worker Shot Dead

An 18-year-old woman working on rural development for the Afghan government was shot dead in the country's biggest southern city Kandahar on Tuesday, a local official said.

Rabia Sadat was killed as she left home in central Kandahar to go to work at around 8:00 am (03:30 GMT), provincial spokesman Zalmai Ayoubi said.

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N.Korea Warns of War as U.S.-S.Korea Exercise Begins

South Korea and the United States launched a massive joint military exercise on Tuesday, prompting the North to condemn the maneuvers as provocative and warn that "all-out war" could erupt.

The two allies have described the 10-day Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise as defensive and routine but the North habitually terms such joint drills a rehearsal for invasion and launches its own counter-exercises.

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Man Arrested in U.S. over Sydney Teenager 'Collar Bomb'

An Australian man has been arrested by an FBI SWAT team in the United States over a bizarre incident in which a fake bomb was strapped around the neck of a Sydney schoolgirl, police said Tuesday.

Madeleine Pulver, 18, a member of one of the city's wealthiest families, endured a horrifying 10-hour ordeal earlier this month when a masked man placed a device around her neck at her luxury home in leafy Mosman.

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Drone Kills Four Militants in Pakistan

A U.S. drone strike in a Pakistani tribal area considered home to the most dangerous enemy of American troops in eastern Afghanistan killed at least four militants on Tuesday, officials said.

The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles, hitting a compound and a vehicle parked outside it in Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan tribal district, a senior security official told Agence France Presse.

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China Imposes New Rules to Fight Child Trafficking after 8 Sentenced

The Chinese government is tightening adoption rules to combat child trafficking, state media reported Tuesday, a day after eight people convicted of abducting or murdering children received sentences including the death penalty.

Only orphanages will be able to offer abandoned infants and children for adoption, and adults who adopt without official registration will not be recognized as legal guardians, the China Daily reported.

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Taliban Blames U.S. Economy, London Riots on Afghan War

The Taliban blamed the state of the U.S. economy and last week's London riots on the war in Afghanistan in a statement published on its website Monday.

The insurgents claimed both situations were linked to the U.S. and Britain spending hundreds of billions of dollars on the ten-year war in Afghanistan and again urged foreign troops to pull out of the country.

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Human Rights Watch: All Sides in Somalia War Guilty of Crimes

All the parties to Somalia's conflict have violated the rules of war and are guilty of causing civilian casualties in the fight for territorial control, Human Rights Watch said Monday.

Somali government forces backed by troops of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have fought bloody battles in the capital Mogadishu with the al-Qaida-inspired Shebab rebels who want to topple the administration.

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