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Medvedev Welcomes Initial Georgia Vote Results

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday welcome initial vote results in Georgia, pointing to a victory by the opposition as a sign of people wanting more "constructive" ties with Moscow.

"If this result turns out being real, the political landscape in Georgia will become multi-faceted," news agencies quoted Russia's former president as saying some four years after the two sides fought a brief border war.

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Pope's Butler Says Innocent of Theft in 'Vatileaks' Trial

Pope Benedict XVI's former butler said he was innocent of theft but guilty of abusing the pope's trust at his Vatican trial on Tuesday, where he also claimed he was mistreated in jail.

Paolo Gabriele took the stand at his historic trial accused of stealing secret memos that revealed intrigue and fraud allegations and leaking them to a journalist, in what he described as a bid to battle "evil and corruption" within the Vatican.

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Ahmadinejad Says West Waging Economic War on Iran as Rial Plunges

Iran will not back down on its nuclear program despite the problems caused by Western sanctions, including a dramatic slide in the value of its currency, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Tuesday.

"We are not a people to retreat on the nuclear issue," he told a news conference in Tehran.

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Nigeria Student Massacre Claims 26 Lives

Gunmen massacred at least 26 people in a student housing area of northeast Nigeria on Tuesday, calling victims out by name before shooting them or slitting their throats, officials said.

The attack occurred in the early hours in the town of Mubi, where the military last week carried out a high-profile raid against Islamist extremist group Boko Haram, which has been waging a deadly insurgency.

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Turkish Late President Exhumed after 'Suspicious' Death

The body of Turkey's late president Turgut Ozal was to be exhumed Tuesday for a belated autopsy as part of a probe into allegations that his death in 1993 might have been caused by poisoning, Anatolia reported.

The exhumation began early in the morning at Ozals' mausoleum in Istanbul's historic Topkapi district, after prosecutors issued a warrant for toxicology tests on his remains last month, according to the agency.

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Saakashvili Concedes Defeat in Georgia Polls

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili conceded defeat Tuesday in parliamentary polls that handed a shock victory to an opposition coalition led by billionaire tycoon Bidzina Ivanishvili.

Although Saakashvili remains president, the defeat of his United National Movement to Ivanishvili's Georgian Dream coalition in Monday's elections spells the end of his nine years of largely unchallenged dominance over Georgia.

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Protesters Trash Police Post at French Embassy in Tehran

A small group of protesters, most of them women, on Tuesday trashed an Iranian police post protecting the French embassy in Tehran and threw stones at visitors to the mission before being arrested, a diplomat inside told AFP.

The unannounced, violent demonstration lasted 90 minutes and involved around 15 people, the French diplomat said.

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Report: Ahmadinejad's Cameraman Seeks Asylum in U.S.

A photographer traveling with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the U.N. General Assembly last week stayed behind and has sought asylum in the United States, CNN reported.

His lawyer, Paul O'Dwyer, told CNN Monday that Hassan Golkanbhan feared persecution over his opposition to the Iranian government, and that his wife and two children had fled Iran for an undisclosed safe haven.

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Nearly 300 Held in Bangladesh for Attacks on Buddhists

Bangladesh police said Tuesday they had arrested nearly 300 people after Muslim mobs attacked temples and houses in what Buddhist leaders described as the worst violence against the community since independence.

A total of 162 people were arrested in Cox's Bazaar, which bore the brunt of the attacks on Saturday and Sunday nights, according to Khorshed Alam, a senior police officer in the southeastern district.

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Japan: Chinese Govt. Ships in Waters of Disputed Isles

Chinese government ships returned to waters off disputed Japanese-controlled islands Tuesday, the coastguard said, a week after they last left and days after heated exchanges at the U.N. General Assembly.

Four maritime surveillance ships entered the waters shortly after 12:30 pm (0330 GMT), where they remained for around six hours, ignoring demands from Japan's coastguard to leave.

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