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Vatican's Number Two Slams 'Attempt to Split Church'

The Vatican's number two, the reported target of a power struggle in the Church, alleged divisive forces at work on Monday as the Holy See said 23 people had been questioned in a leaks scandal.

In a rare outburst, the Secretary of State appeared to lash out at those who, according to religious observers, have been orchestrating the scandal in an attempt to oust him, and slammed media for "Dan Brown-style" reporting.

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Car Bomb Kills Pakistan Students

A car bomb tore into a university bus in Pakistan's insurgency-torn southwest on Monday, killing four people and wounding more than 40 others, mostly Shiite Muslim students, police said.

The attack took place on the outskirts of Quetta, capital of the oil- and gas-rich province of Baluchistan that borders Afghanistan and Iran.

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Ethiopian Court Convicts U.N. Security Officer of 'Terrorism'

An Ethiopian security officer with the United Nations faced up to 10 years in jail after a court in Addis Ababa found him guilty Monday of "participating in a terrorist organization."

"The defendant has not convinced us that he did not commit a crime... he's guilty," judge Mulugeta Kidane said.

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Iran: Atmosphere at Moscow Nuclear Talks 'Not Positive'

The atmosphere at crunch talks in Moscow between Iran and world powers over Tehran's nuclear drive is not positive, a member of the Iranian delegation said after several hours of meetings Monday.

"So far the atmosphere is not positive," said the official, who asked not to be named. "Setting up the framework (for negotiation) is the main problem," he added, emphasizing that the assessment was still "preliminary."

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Boko Haram Islamists Claim Deadly Nigeria Church Blasts

Boko Haram Islamists on Monday claimed suicide attacks on three churches in northern Nigeria's Kaduna state that killed at least 16 and sparked riots that killed dozens more.

"Allah has given us victory in the attacks we launched against churches in (the cities of) Kaduna and Zaria which resulted in the deaths of many Christians and security personnel," said the email statement sent by Abul Qaqa, the purported Boko Haram spokesman who has similarly claimed previous attacks.

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Death Toll from Nigeria Church Attacks, Riots Rises to 45

Suicide attacks on three churches and reprisal violence that saw Christians target Muslims in northern Nigeria have killed at least 45 people and the toll could rise further, a rescue official said Monday.

"As at last night, around 10 pm, the death toll stood at 45," the rescue official said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to issue death tolls. "The death toll is expected to rise when we get updated."

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Blast in French-Controlled Afghan Town Kills 6

An improvised bomb killed four police and two civilians on Monday in an Afghan town where hundreds of French troops have been deployed to fight Taliban rebels as part of the NATO mission, officials said.

The bombing, similar to attacks carried out by insurgents against Afghan and NATO forces, killed a local police commander who was the apparent target of the blast, provincial governor Mehrabuddin Safi told Agence France Presse.

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Ahmadinejad: Iran Ready to Suspend 20% Enrichment if it Receives N-Fuel

Iran is ready to suspend its controversial enrichment of uranium to 20 percent if Europe guarantees delivery of nuclear fuel for its reactors, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on his official website.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has always said that, if the European countries give Iran 20 percent (enriched uranium) fuel, Iran will not carry out enrichment to that level," he was quoted as saying in a text on the website published late Sunday.

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Man Arrested after Killing Two French Women Paramilitaries

A suspect was arrested during a massive manhunt early Monday after a man shot dead two female paramilitary gendarmes with one of their own pistols in a village in southeast France.

The gendarmes, aged 29 and 35, were intervening in a dispute on Sunday when a man who had been accused of burglary knocked down one of them, grabbed her gun and killed her, investigators said.

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Talks Over Iran’s Nuclear Powers Start in Moscow

Iran and world powers on Monday sat down in Moscow for a new round of high-stakes talks on the controversial Iranian nuclear program seen as a last chance to solve the crisis diplomatically.

Chief Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili began talks with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and representatives from six world powers including Tehran's arch foe the United States, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

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