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Mandela 'Doing Great' Says Daughter

Nelson Mandela is "doing great" and is enjoying time at home with his family after being discharged from hospital, his daughter Zenani Mandela-Dlamini told AFP on Friday.

Mandela left hospital on Wednesday, after nearly three weeks of in-patient treatment for a recurrent lung infection and surgery to have gallstones removed.

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New York Murders Lowest in 50 Years

The number of murders in New York this year fell to its lowest point in 50 years, mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday -- a bit of good news as the United States tries to combat rampant gun violence.

Crime rates and gun laws across the country have been in the spotlight since the December 14 slaying of 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Connecticut by a 20-year-old man who also killed his mother and eventually himself.

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Pakistan Taliban Chief 'Open to Talks' but Not to Disarming

Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud said his organization could be open to talks with Islamabad in a video released Friday, but poured scorn on the idea his men would give up their guns.

Mehsud, who has a $5 million U.S. government bounty on his head, said the militant group would consider negotiations with the Pakistani government but only if it abandoned ties with Washington.

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U.S. 'Deeply Regrets' Signing of Russia Adoption Law

The United States on Friday expressed deep regret after Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a tough anti-U.S. adoption law, and said it hoped adoption cases already under way would not be affected.

"We deeply regret Russia's passage of a law ending inter-country adoptions between the United States and Russia," State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell said in a statement, decrying the move as "politically motivated".

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills Four in Pakistan

U.S. drones targeting a suspected militant compound on Friday killed four people in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border, security officials said.

The attack took place in Gurbuz town, 65 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan tribal district, a security official said.

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Victims of Afghan Raid File Suit against Germany

Families of victims of an air strike in Afghanistan that killed more than 90 people in 2009 have filed a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit against Germany, a lawyer said Friday.

Karim Popal, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, said 10 class action lawsuits were claiming 3.3 million euros ($4.4 million) in damages from the German government.

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Japan, Russia Agree to Restart Peace Pact Talks

Japan's new Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday to restart talks on a peace treaty hampered since World War II by a territorial row, an official said.

In a 20-minute telephone conversation, Abe, who was formally elected to his second stint as Japan's premier on Wednesday, also agreed to visit Russia at an "appropriate" date in 2013, the Japanese official said.

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PM Rajoy Says Spain Faces Tough Year Ahead

Spain's prime minister says the country's economy faces a tough year ahead as it grapples with recession, a deep financial crisis and 25 percent unemployment.

In his end-of-year assessment Friday, Mariano Rajoy said the country's crisis had been worse than anticipated, warning that the first half of 2013 will be "very hard" with any recovery not expected until the latter part of the year.

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Myanmar to Allow Daily Private Newspapers

Myanmar said Friday it will allow private daily newspapers starting in April for the first time since 1964, in the latest step toward allowing freedom of expression in the long-repressed nation.

The Information Ministry announced on its website that any Myanmar national wishing to publish a daily newspaper will be able to submit an application in February. New papers will be allowed to begin printing April 1 in any language.

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Thatcher Papers: 'Worst Moment' of Her Life

She called it, simply, the worst moment of her life.

It came in March 1982 during the days before the Falklands War, after Argentina established an unauthorized presence on Britain's South Georgia island amid talk of a possible invasion of the Falklands, long held by Britain.

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