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Nine Civilians Killed by Roadside Bomb in Northern Afghanistan

Nine civilians were killed by a roadside bomb in Baghlan province, northern Afghanistan, as they traveled to a wedding on Sunday, police and local officials said.

Six women, two men and a child died in the blast, which happened as the vehicle traveled from Pul-e-Khumri, the provincial capital, to a village in the province, on a road often used by foreign forces.

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Ex-Dictator 'Baby Doc' Returns to Haiti after 25 Years

Former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has made a surprise return to Haiti in the midst of a political vacuum left by disputed presidential elections.

Returning to his homeland Sunday for the first time after 25 years in the political wilderness, most of them spent in exile in France, Duvalier told reporters at the airport, simply: "I've come to help."

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Pope John Paul II to be Beatified May 1

The pope on Friday approved a miracle attributed to Pope John Paul II's intercession and set May 1 as the date for his beatification, an event that will be a major morale boost for a church reeling from a wave of violence against Christians and fallout from the clerical sexual abuse scandal.

Pope Benedict XVI declared in a decree that a French nun's recovery from Parkinson's disease was miraculous, the last step needed for the beloved pontiff's beatification.

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Three Bulgarians Working for U.N. Kidnapped in Sudan

Three Bulgarian airline employees, working on a contract for the United Nations in Sudan, were kidnapped in the east African country, the Bulgarian foreign ministry said Thursday.

"A crew of three Bulgarian nationals, working for a Bulgarian airline company operating flights on a U.N. contract, were kidnapped in north Sudan," the ministry said in a statement.

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Maserati to Build SUV in North America

Chrysler Group said Tuesday it plans to build a new sport utility vehicle for Italy's Maserati in North America.

Chrysler/Fiat Chief executive officer Sergio Marchionne said he had approved a plan to build a sport utility vehicle for the ultra-high end Italian luxury brand at the Jefferson North Assembly plant in Detroit.

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NASA to Launch Discovery on Feb. 24

NASA said Tuesday it will aim to launch the space shuttle Discovery on February 24, after engineers found a way to shore up cracks on the external fuel tank that have delayed its final liftoff.

NASA engineers have been working since November to figure out why cracks were emerging on the 22-foot-long U-shaped aluminum brackets, called stringers, on the shuttle's external fuel tank.

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Troops Deploy after 13 Reportedly Killed in Central Nigeria

Soldiers rushed to restore calm to parts of central Nigeria on Tuesday after 13 people were reported killed in an attack on a village and unrest flared in other areas, authorities said.

Central Nigeria has seen a wave of violence in recent weeks, including Christmas Eve bomb blasts and reprisal attacks that killed at least 80 people as well as clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups.

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Brisbane Threatened as Scores Dead or Missing from 'Inland Tsunami'

Australia suffered an "inland tsunami" as flash floods killed nine and left 66 missing, and the city of Brisbane was braced for disaster Tuesday with 6,500 properties under threat.

A somber Prime Minister Julia Gillard, dressed in black, warned the country to prepare for more deaths after the flash floods smashed the mountainside town of Toowoomba, sweeping away cars and entire houses.

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DuPont Purchases Danisco

Danish specialty food ingredients company Danisco said on Monday it would be acquired by US chemical giant Dupont in a deal worth $6.3 billion (4.9 billion euros), pending approval by regulators.

The purchase will involve $5.8 billion paid in cash and assumption of $500 million of Danisco's net debt, the Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont announced late on Sunday.

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Brazil's Finance Minister Warns of 'Trade War'

The world could face a full-scale "trade war" if governments keep pushing down exchange rates to boost exports, Brazil's Finance Minister Guido Mantega warned in an interview on Monday.

He also told the Financial Times that Brazil was preparing new measures to prevent further appreciation of its currency, the real, whose continued strengthening threatens the country's export-led economy.

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