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Thousands of Turks Defy Ban to Mark Republic Day

Thousands of pro-secular Turks marched Monday in Ankara to mark Republic Day, defying a ban by the moderate Islamist government.

Carrying national flags, demonstrators shouted slogans, "Fully independent Turkey," and "We are soldiers of Mustafa Kemal," referring to the republic's founding father.

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Nine Killed as Turkish Forces, Kurdish Rebels Clash

Violence between security forces and Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey killed one police officer and eight rebels, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported Monday.

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) launched five simultaneous attacks against security positions late Sunday, killing one police officer, the agency quoted the Sirnak governor's office as saying.

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Ukraine Ruling Party Claims Election Win

Ukraine's ruling party on Monday claimed victory in weekend elections as early results showed it withstanding the challenge by allies of ex-premier Yulia Tymoshenko whose jailing last year sparked global concern.

Prime Minister Mykola Azarov expressed confidence the ruling Regions Party would win the majority of seats in the new parliament after Sunday's vote that the West saw as a huge test for Ukraine's democracy amid the furore caused by the imprisonment of Tymoshenko.

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Death Toll from Myanmar Unrest Reaches 88

Sectarian bloodshed has left at least 88 people dead in Myanmar this month, the authorities said Monday, with more than 26,000 others forced to flee a wave of rioting and arson.

Hundreds more homes were burned down over the weekend as security forces struggled to quell clashes between Buddhists and Muslims in western Rakhine state that have seen whole neighborhoods razed.

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Clinton Arrives in Algeria for Mali, Qaida Talks

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Algeria on Monday, with the political crisis in neighboring Mali a central focus of her scheduled talks with President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Clinton's plane touched down shortly before 0530 GMT at Algiers international airport at the start of her second visit to the Algerian capital following a trip last year.

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S. Korea Activists Release Anti-North Leaflets

South Korean activists floated anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border with North Korea on Monday, a week after the North threatened military action over a similar propaganda exercise.

Around a dozen activists released seven balloons carrying 50,000 leaflets from a park in the border town of Paju, north of Seoul, amid heavy security involving some 100 police officers.

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Hurricane 'Havoc' Hits U.S. Election Endgame

Hurricane Sandy, bringing Monday a dangerous "October Surprise," has shredded candidates' endgame plans for next week's toss-up U.S. election in a new test of nerve for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.

The U.S. President and his Republican foe dumped planned rallies in swing states in the path of the monster storm, upending strategies months in the making designed to eke out every last vote a week from election day.

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Western Canada Rattled by 6.3 Magnitude Quake

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck the coast of western Canada, several hours after a powerful temblor nearby sparked a tsunami warning and sent Hawaiians scrambling, U.S. seismologists said Sunday.

The quake hit at 1854 GMT Sunday at a depth of 5.1 miles (8.2 kilometers) in Canada's Queen Charlotte Islands region north of Vancouver, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

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Heavy Fighting Breaks out in Eastern DR Congo

Government troops and unidentified rebel forces clashed in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo Sunday, military officials said.

Heavy weapons fire could be heard after 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) at Sake in North Kivu region, about 30 kilometers (20 miles) west of the city of Goma, officials and residents said.

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Obama Campaign Fears Impact of Hurricane Sandy

A top aide to Barack Obama voiced fears Sunday that Hurricane Sandy could hurt the president's re-election chances by reducing turnout, as the impending storm forced both candidates to cancel campaign stops.

Republican challenger Mitt Romney received good news in two key swing states, winning the endorsement in Iowa of the main newspaper, the Des Moines Register, and tying Obama in a newly-released poll in all-important Ohio.

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