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Taliban Attacks Border Checkpost in Pakistan, Kills 28

Hundreds of heavily armed Taliban besieged a Pakistani checkpost on the Afghan border for a second day Thursday, killing 23 police and five civilians in the deadliest fighting for months.

A senior police official told Agence France Presse that 500 militants, including Afghan Taliban from across the border and Pakistani Taliban, took part in the attack which began before dawn on Wednesday and continued more than 24 hours later.

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U.S. Calls for Sudan Leaders to Meet on Abyei

The United States called Wednesday on Sudan's northern and southern leaders to meet immediately to defuse a crisis over the disputed Abyei border region and help save a 2005 peace agreement.

Johnnie Carson, the top U.S. diplomat for Africa, renewed U.S. condemnation of the May 21 seizure of Abyei by troops serving the northern-based government of President Omar al-Bashir and repeated American calls for them to withdraw.

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Ivory Coast Announces New Government

Ivory Coast announced a new government Wednesday in another step towards re-establishing itself after a five-month dispute over presidential elections that descended into deadly violence.

The line-up of 36 ministers does not feature the party of Laurent Gbagbo, the former president who refused to step down after November elections, leading to the violence.

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6.4 Magnitude Quake Shakes Chile

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the southcentral coast of Chile on Wednesday in an area hit by a major temblor last year, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The tremor caused panic in some communities but there were no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, and there were no tsunami warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

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Gates: U.S. Military Remains Committed to Asia

Defense Secretary Robert Gates on Tuesday said the U.S. military will preserve its presence in the Pacific despite possible Pentagon budget cuts.

Gates, speaking during a stop in Hawaii, said he planned to tell a security conference in Singapore this week that budget pressures would not alter Washington's role in Asia.

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Pakistan Orders Probe into bin Laden Fiasco

Pakistan on Tuesday ordered an investigation to discover "the full facts" of how Osama bin Laden lived undetected, likely for years, on its soil until being killed in a U.S. commando raid on May 2.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced that an independent commission would probe the circumstances of the al-Qaida chief's presence in Abbottabad, a garrison town north of Islamabad, where he was gunned down by U.S. Navy SEALs.

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Pakistani Journalist Found Dead near Capital

A Pakistani journalist has been found dead near the capital Islamabad after writing about links between the Pakistani military and al-Qaida, officials said Tuesday.

Syed Saleem Shahzad, 40, worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong. He went missing on Sunday after he left his home in the capital to take part in a television talk show, but never arrived.

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China Vows to Respond to ‘Reasonable Demands’ of Inner Mongolia protesters

Ethnic demonstrations in Inner Mongolia will be handled according to the law and the government will respond to "reasonable demands" from protesters, a Chinese government spokeswoman said Tuesday.

The Foreign Ministry's Jiang Yu said the government would take necessary measures to protect the interests of all groups, but would also act against troublemakers.

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IKEA Fireworks Caused Blasts at Several Stores in Europe

Small explosions from booby-trapped products at three Ikea stores in Belgium, France and the Netherlands this week were caused by fireworks, the Swedish furniture giant said Tuesday.

The blasts Monday in stores in the western Belgian city of Ghent, Lille in northern France and Eindhoven in The Netherlands were caused by "small fireworks devices," Ikea spokeswoman Charlotte Lindgren told Agence France Presse.

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Berlin Summons Iran Envoy for Closing Airspace to Merkel Plane

Iran briefly closed its airspace to German Chancellor Angela Merkel's plane as she flew for a visit to India on Tuesday, delaying her arrival and sparking a diplomatic row.

Merkel was held up as she flew overnight on Monday-Tuesday for a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and President Pratibha Patil in New Delhi.

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