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Clinton Urges ASEAN Nations to Help Pressure Iran

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday urged Southeast Asian nations to help keep up pressure on Iran and end a diplomatic stalemate over talks on its suspect nuclear program.

The United States viewed regional body ASEAN "as a partner in the broad international effort to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons"; Clinton told a meeting of East Asian nations in Cambodia, according to the text of a speech released to the media.

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Gunmen Kill 9 Security Personnel in Eastern Pakistan

Gunmen shot dead nine Pakistani police and prison staff as they slept in Lahore on Thursday, the second attack on security forces in the country's political heartland since Islamabad reopened a NATO supply corridor.

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the dawn raid, in which police said 10 gunmen stormed a hostel housing officers being trained from the troubled northwest.

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Raul Castro Taps Old Friend Russia for Help

Cuban leader Raul Castro sought on Wednesday to revive a historic but flagging friendship with Russia as he met Vladimir Putin for talks on economic relief for his sanctions-plagued communist state.

The Cuban leader's second visit to Russia since his 2006 assumption of power from older brother Fidel extends a recent revival of contacts that had ground to a halt when the Soviet Union fell apart two decades ago.

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9/11 Defendants Seek Hearing Delay for Ramadan

The self-proclaimed mastermind of the September 11 attacks and four co-defendants are seeking to delay their August hearing at the U.S. military jail at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba so that they can observe Ramadan, their lawyers said Wednesday.

The Pentagon-funded lawyer for the nephew of 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, said the judge had "many options," including extending a subsequent hearing set for September 8-12, which falls during the end of Ramadan.

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Report: Top Taliban Leader Says Insurgents Can't Win War

One of the most senior Taliban commanders has admitted that it is unlikely the insurgents can win the war in Afghanistan, according to an interview published by Britain's New Statesman magazine.

The identity of the Taliban leader is not revealed but the interview was conducted by Taliban expert and author Michael Semple, who was a U.N. envoy to Afghanistan and is now with the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard.

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54 Migrants Die of Thirst in Mediterranean Boat Drama

Fifty-four migrants trying to reach Italy died of thirst when their inflatable boat ruptured in the Mediterranean, according to testimony from the sole survivor, Abbes Settou, the U.N. refugee agency said on Wednesday.

Settou, who drank sea water to survive, was spotted clinging to a jerry can and the remains of the stricken boat off the Tunisian coast on Monday night by fishermen who alerted the coast guard, the UNHCR said.

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ASEAN Struggles over Maritime Dispute with China

China and Southeast Asian countries struggled to make progress Wednesday on a code of conduct designed to ease tension in the flashpoint South China Sea, diplomatic sources said.

The two sides were due to meet at a summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Cambodia amid splits on what the code should include and how it should be implemented.

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Report: Berlusconi Preparing for Political Comeback

Silvio Berlusconi wants to be prime minister again and is preparing to present his candidacy for 2013 elections, an Italian daily said Wednesday in a report partially confirmed by the head of his party.

"The decision has been taken: Berlusconi will once against present his candidacy for the post of prime minister," the daily reported, without citing its sources, after incumbent Mario Monti reiterated he would step down in 2013.

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Report: China Releases Four S. Korean Activists

China has released four South Korean activists who were held in March after interviewing North Korean refugees hiding there, a report said Wednesday.

The four are being questioned by South Korean intelligence officials in China after being released from a detention center in the border city of Dandong just across from North Korea, Yonhap news agency said.

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Brother of S. Korean President Detained over Corruption Trial

The elder brother of South Korean President Lee Myung-Bak was arrested and detained early Wednesday pending a corruption trial, in a setback for the conservative ruling party during an election year.

The Seoul Central District Court approved prosecutors' request for an arrest warrant for Lee Sang-Deuk, a former six-term ruling party lawmaker, over a savings bank scandal.

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