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Defense Seeks Karadzic Acquittal, Says No Genocide in Bosnia

Radovan Karadzic and his lawyers on Monday asked the Yugoslav war crimes court to acquit the former Bosnian Serb leader on all counts, arguing that no genocide took place in Bosnia in 1992.

"Dr. Karadzic requests a judgment of acquittal pursuant to rule 98bis for counts one to 11," said his lawyer Peter Robinson at a public hearing at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague.

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Swiss Query Suspect in French Political Corruption Scandal

A key suspect in the French illegal political funding scandal known as the "Karachi Affair" has been questioned by investigators in Geneva, Swiss prosecutors said Monday.

Abdulrahman el-Assir, a Lebanese-born businessman subject to a French arrest warrant issued last November, was questioned on May 30 but was not placed in detention, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office said.

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France Says Risk of 'Terrorists' Setting Up in Mali

There is a risk of "terrorist" groups setting up in the deserts of northern Mali, French President Francois Hollande warned Monday after talks with Niger's President Mahamadou Issoufou in Paris.

"There is a threat of terrorist groups setting up in northern Mali. There is outside intervention that is destabilizing Mali and setting up groups whose vocation goes well beyond Mali, in Africa and perhaps beyond," Hollande said.

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Three Dead in Pakistan Bomb Blast

Three bus passengers were killed and 12 others injured when a bomb planted in a parked motorbike exploded in Pakistan's insurgency-hit province of Baluchistan on Monday, officials said.

The motorbike fitted with explosives had been left on the road linking the provincial capital Quetta with Iran, senior government official Naseebullah Bazai told Agence France Presse.

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Seoul Warns of Retaliation against N. Korea Command

South Korea's military warned Monday it would immediately retaliate against North Korea's "core command forces" for any attack, after a series of threats from the communist state.

Seoul's armed forces held an unscheduled readiness drill Monday due to a "series of peculiar activities", a defense ministry spokesman said.

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Russia's Lavrov to Visit Iran ahead of Moscow Talks

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will visit Iran on Wednesday to discuss the upcoming Moscow talks on Tehran's nuclear program as well as the Syria crisis, his ministry said.

"The focus of attention... will be on the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, with the emphasis on the current transformation processes taking place in the Arab world and Syria," news agencies quoted a foreign ministry official as saying Monday.

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Taliban Bomb Kills Pregnant Afghan Woman

A roadside bomb in Afghanistan killed a pregnant woman and three of her relatives when it ripped through the ambulance rushing them to hospital for her to give birth, officials said Monday.

Taliban insurgents were responsible for planting the homemade bomb in northern Sari Pul province, which is regularly hit by insurgent activity, interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told Agence France Presse.

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Russian Protest Leaders' Homes Raided by Police on Rally Eve

Russian investigators said Monday they were searching the homes of top protest leaders on the eve of a mass rally against President Vladimir Putin's rule.

The Investigative Committee said in a statement that the raids targeted Alexei Navalny as well as Ilya Yashin and Sergei Udaltsov over a previous rally "that ended in mass disturbances."

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French Socialists Take Lead in Parliamentary Vote

French President Francois Hollande's Socialists and allies were headed for an absolute majority to push through tax-and-spend reforms after a first round of parliamentary elections Sunday, exit polls said.

The election also saw a surge in support for Marine Le Pen's National Front, which wants to ditch the euro and battles against the "Islamisation" of France. It won almost 14 percent of votes, according to the exit polls.

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U.N. Suggest May or June 2013 for Madagascar Elections

U.N. experts are calling for elections to be held in May or June 2013 in crisis-hit Madagascar, six months after the date suggested by the electoral commission, local daily L'Express said Saturday.

Neither the United Nations nor the Independent National Electoral Commission of the Transition were available for comment.

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