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Zawahiri Praises 'Human Side' of bin Laden

Osama bin Laden was a kind and loyal friend who honored the 9/11 hijackers and often cried in public, according to his longtime deputy who succeeded him as the leader of al-Qaida.

In a 30-minute video posted on jihadist forums on Tuesday, Ayman al-Zawahiri praised what he called the "human side" of the al-Qaida founder, who was killed in a U.S. commando raid in Pakistan earlier this year.

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Karzai Outlines Conditions for U.S. Bases in Afghanistan

President Hamid Karzai on Wednesday outlined a string of conditions for long-term U.S. bases in Afghanistan at a major gathering of elders debating the country's future and peace efforts with the Taliban.

Karzai told day one of the loya jirga that he wanted Afghan-U.S. relations to be those of "two independent countries" and assured neighbors such as China and Russia that a long-term deal would not affect their ties with Afghanistan.

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U.S. to Base Marines in Australia

The United States will deploy up to 2,500 Marines to northern Australia as the two nations expand their 60-year-old military alliance, the U.S. and Australian leaders announced Wednesday, rankling China.

The announcement by President Barack Obama and Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard came as the allies adapted their military posture to face a new security era marked by the rise of China.

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19 Killed in China Kindergarten Bus Crash

Nineteen people, 17 of them children, were killed in a head-on collision between an overloaded school bus and a truck in northwestern China on Wednesday, local authorities and state media said.

The nine-seater bus was carrying 64 people when the accident happened at 9:40 am (0140 GMT) in Yulinzi township in Gansu province, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local safety authorities.

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Secret Service: Bullet Struck White House Window

A bullet has struck the ballistic glass of an exterior window of the White House and another round has been found nearby, the Secret Service said Wednesday.

The bodyguard detail charged with protecting the U.S. president and other top officials began investigating after an incident on Friday when gunshots were heard near the White House, the service said in a statement.

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Up to 18 in Pakistan

A major salvo of U.S. missiles on Wednesday destroyed a Pakistani Taliban base on the Afghan border, killing up to 18 militants including possible al-Qaida fighters, local officials said.

Five U.S. drones fired up to 10 missiles into a sprawling compound in the Baber Ghar area of South Waziristan, killing 15 to 18 fighters in the deadliest such American strike in three months, the Pakistani officials said.

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Clinton to Offer Support to Philippines, Thailand

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will announce new support for the Philippines and flood-hit Thailand as she shores up ties with key U.S. allies, officials said Tuesday.

Clinton arrived Tuesday in the Philippines and will head later this week to Thailand, part of a renewed U.S. focus on Asia. President Barack Obama is travelling separately to Australia, another longtime ally in the region.

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British Police Arrest 4 Men in Counter-terror Probe

Police said they arrested four men Tuesday in the central English city of Birmingham as part of an ongoing counter-terrorism investigation that has uncovered an alleged suicide bombing plot.

The men, three aged 19 and one 24, were detained under counter-terror laws in the Sparkhill area on suspicion of fundraising for terrorist purposes and of travelling to Pakistan to undertake terrorist training.

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India Tests Long-range Nuclear-capable Missile

India on Tuesday successfully test fired one of its longest range missiles capable of carrying a one-ton nuclear warhead deep inside China, officials said.

A Defense Research and Development Organization spokesman said the Agni-IV missile was launched at 9:00am (0330 GMT) from a test site in the eastern Indian state of Orissa.

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Juppe Warns Iran Strike May Drag World into 'Uncontrollable Spiral'

The French foreign minister warned Monday that taking military action against Iran over its nuclear program would drag the world into an "uncontrollable spiral."

Alain Juppe said after talks with European Union counterparts that the EU would reinforce sanctions against Tehran by asking the European Investment Bank to freeze loans to the Islamic republic.

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