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Police Fire Water Cannon at New Delhi Gang-Rape Protest

Riot police fired water cannon Wednesday at a protest in New Delhi over the gang-rape of a 23-year-old student, as leader of India's ruling party Sonia Gandhi swelled a wave of anger over the attack.

During the protest screened live on television, police could be seen hosing down demonstrators after a group of them tried to tear down steel barricades outside the official residence of New Delhi's Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

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Chavez 'Stable' After Respiratory Infection

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in "stable" condition after being diagnosed with a respiratory infection following his latest cancer surgery in Cuba, an official said Tuesday.

Communications Minister Ernesto Villegas said doctors had treated the infection and brought it under control, adding that it was a common consequence of "complicated surgeries" and that the ailing leader required "absolute rest."

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2 Bank Robbers Escape from High-Rise Jail in Chicago

Two bank robbers pulled off a daring escape from downtown Chicago's high-rise jail Tuesday by apparently scaling down about 20 stories using a makeshift rope tied to the bars in a cell window.

Police helicopters and canine units swarmed the area, but not until more than three hours after Joseph "Jose" Banks and Kenneth Conley went unaccounted for during a 5 a.m. headcount, U.S. Marshal's Service spokeswoman Belkis Cantor said.

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More Attacks on Pakistan Polio Workers, UNICEF and WHO Suspend Work

Gunmen killed three people working on a polio vaccination campaign in Pakistan on Wednesday, officials said, as the nationwide drive against the crippling disease suffered a third day of bloodshed.

A female health worker and her driver were shot dead in Charsadda, near Peshawar, the main town of northwest Pakistan, police official Wajid Khan told Agence France Presse. A second police officer confirmed the incident.

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Death Toll Rises to 22 Mexico Prison Clash

Authorities Wednesday said the death toll has risen to 22 in a clash at a prison in northern Mexico, which erupted when inmates tried to escape.

The tally includes 13 inmates and nine guards, according to two top officials, up from the 11 and six originally reported.

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Ex-Iran Diplomat Freed by Britain Arrives in Oman

A former Iranian diplomat, who won a British court ruling against his extradition to the U.S. where he is wanted for allegedly smuggling arms, arrived Tuesday in Oman on his way home, an AFP photographer said.

Iran's former ambassador to Jordan Nosratollah Tajik landed in Muscat's Seeb air base on an Omani Air Force plane.

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White House: Obama Backs Bill to Ban Assault Weapons

President Barack Obama on Tuesday threw his weight behind a bill to reintroduce a ban on civilians owning assault weapons, in the wake of a gun massacre in an elementary school that shocked the nation.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the president would support a law proposed by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein to prohibit the arms, defined as certain types of semi-automatic firearm with removable magazines.

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U.N. Says More than 125 Rapes during DR Congo Army Retreat

More than 125 women were raped as Democratic Republic of Congo troops pulled back from a rebel offensive last month, according to a U.N. investigation revealed Tuesday.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said nine government soldiers have been arrested so far for rapes and lootings in North Kivu province and U.N. officials raised concerns with the DR Congo government on Tuesday.

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S. Africa Right-Wingers Due in Court on High Treason Charges

Four armed men, suspected right-wing extremists who had targeted an ANC leadership meeting, will appear in court on terrorism and high treason charges Tuesday, South African authorities said.

"The current status of the investigation and evidence collected confirms that their activities were also directed to the ANC conference," Free State province police spokesman Billy Jones said in a statement, backtracking on earlier denials of any link with the ruling party's meeting.

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China Commentary Questions Abe's Sincerity

China's state media Tuesday questioned whether Japan's incoming prime minister sincerely wants to improve ties with Beijing, which have been severely strained by a row over a disputed island chain.

The official Xinhua news agency noted Monday's remarks by Shinzo Abe that there is "no room for negotiation" over the sovereignty of the Senkaku islands, which Beijing calls the Diaoyus.

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