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Three Dead, Nine Missing in Pakistan Floods

Flash floods triggered by heavy rain on Wednesday killed at least three people in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, as officials said there was "no chance" for nine more swept away by the waters.

Rescue teams were at work in the Machiara ravine, around 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Muzaffarabad, the main city of the Pakistan-run part of the disputed territory, said Raja Muazzam, director of Kashmir's Disaster Management Authority.

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Ecuador Says Assange Talks to Resume This Week

Ecuador said it would resume talks with Britain this week over the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who is holed up in Quito's London embassy in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden.

State media late Tuesday quoted Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino as saying that talks with London "will resume this week," after Britain had earlier said it hoped to restart negotiations as soon as possible.

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Taiwan Vows More Patrols in Disputed Waters

Taiwan's President Ma Ying-jeou on Wednesday pledged to dispatch more coastguard vessels to the disputed waters in the East China Sea, a move that could fuel simmering tensions in the area.

Ma told the coastguards to protect domestic fishermen operating in waters of the Diaoyutai, an island chain known as Diaoyu in China and Senkaku in Japan.

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Six Russian Police Killed in Caucasus Attack

Six police officers were killed in Russia's troubled North Caucasus on Wednesday in a combined bombing and shooting attack as they drove in convoy, the regional interior ministry said.

"A convoy of a regiment protecting the administrative border came under fire. As a result of the shooting, six police officers died and one was wounded," the interior ministry of the Ingushetia region said on its website.

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2 NATO Killed in Afghanistan Helicopter Crash

A NATO helicopter crashed in Afghanistan on Wednesday, killing two NATO personnel in an area south of Kabul that is largely under Taliban control, officials said.

The Islamist militia leading a decade-long insurgency against foreign troops claimed to have shot down two helicopters in Logar province, but NATO said the cause of the crash was under investigation.

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30 Feared Dead in Indian Fireworks Factory Blast

An explosion at a fireworks factory in southern India left up to 30 people dead and dozens of others with serious burns on Wednesday, fire and medical officials said.

Television footage showed smoke billowing into the sky above a factory in Sivakasi, which is the center of the Indian fireworks industry some 700 kilometers south of the Tamil Nadu state capital Chennai.

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Afghan Army Arrests 'Hundreds' over Insider Attacks

Hundreds of Afghan soldiers have been arrested or expelled over a rising number of attacks on NATO colleagues, the defense ministry said Wednesday.

On more than 30 occasions so far this year, members of the Afghan security forces have opened fire on their Western allies, killing at least 45 foreign troops -- the majority of them American.

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Suicide Bomber Blows Himself Up in NW Pakistan

A suicide bomber blew himself up outside a police station in northwestern Pakistan after officers opened fire on him on Wednesday, police said, adding that there were no other casualties.

The incident took place outside Jandol police station in the mountainous Lower Dir district, one of the tribal areas bordering Pakistan where Taliban and al-Qaida militants have strongholds.

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Deadly Shooting Mars Quebec Separatist Victory

One person was killed in a shooting at the victory speech of Quebec's newly elected premier Pauline Marois, whose separatist party is projected to win polls in the French-speaking province.

Another person was seriously wounded in the incident late Tuesday, as Marois was hustled offstage by bodyguards. She later returned to the podium, visibly shaken but unharmed, and quickly concluded her remarks.

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Reports: Japan to Buy Islands Disputed with China

Japan's government has agreed to buy a group of islands at the center of a territorial dispute with China, reports said Wednesday, a move likely to prove a further irritant in a tense relationship.

Tokyo will pay private Japanese landowners 2.05 billion yen ($26 million) for three of the islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, the Yomiuri Shimbun and Kyodo News reported, citing unnamed government sources.

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