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14 Countries Agree to Cooperate on Afghan Future

Fourteen countries, including neighbors China, Pakistan and India agreed Wednesday at an international conference to cooperate in building the future of war-torn Afghanistan, a Turkish diplomat said.

"An agreement was reached at a technical level," said the diplomat, naming the initiative as the Istanbul process, in order to build a secure and stable Afghanistan.

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WikiLeaks Founder Assange Loses Appeal against Extradition

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Wednesday lost a bitter legal battle to block his extradition from Britain to Sweden to face questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Two judges at the High Court in London rejected arguments by the 40-year-old Australian, whose anti-secrecy website has enraged governments around the world, that his extradition would be unlawful.

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13 Hurt in Pakistan Bomb Attack

A bomb attack wounded 13 people on Wednesday, targeting an influential Pakistani tribal elder on the outskirts of the northwestern city of Peshawar, police said.

The blast badly damaged 10 other cars parked near a police checkpost and wounded tribal elder Malik Taj, police officer Rahim Shah said.

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Two Police Killed, Three Servicemen Wounded in Caucasus

Two policemen were shot dead in a car chase in the restive Caucasus region of Dagestan, and three servicemen were injured in a separate incident, police said on Wednesday.

Police came under attack in the Dagestani village of Babayurt in the early hours of Wednesday as they tried to stop a black car with suspicious-looking occupants, regional police said in a statement.

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French Satirical Magazine Publishing Arab Spring Edition, Attacked with Molotov

The offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring edition Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as “guest editor", were gutted in a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said.

The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (02.00 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police source said.

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Global Conference on Afghanistan Future Opens in Istanbul

A global conference aimed at mapping out the future of war-torn Afghanistan after Western troops depart opened in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Representatives from 20 countries joined aid agency members at the Istanbul talks almost 10 years after the Taliban were driven out of power in Kabul.

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Four U.S. Men Arrested over Terror, Ricin Plots

Four U.S. men were arrested on Tuesday for plotting to attack government workers and official buildings, and for trying to manufacture the deadly biological toxin ricin, authorities said.

"These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government," said Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

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U.N. Reports Progress in Cyprus Talks

Rival Greek- and Turkish- Cypriot leaders made "encouraging progress" in two days of talks on reuniting the divided Mediterranean island, U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.

The U.N. secretary general brought together Demetris Christofias, head of the internationally recognized Greek-Cypriot government, and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, for two days of talks at a retreat in the New York suburbs on Sunday and Monday.

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Vehicle Explosion in China Kills 4, Injures 30

Two vehicles carrying explosives detonated in southwest China on Tuesday, killing four people, injuring dozens of others and causing several nearby buildings to collapse, local authorities said.

The explosion took place around midday (04:00 GMT) at an auto repair workshop on a highway in Fuquan city in Guizhou province, a government spokesman and statement said.

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Russia Targets NATO Missile Shield

Russia could take steps of "a technically military nature" if its objections to NATO's planned missile defense system are not heeded, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Serbian daily Tuesday.

"If our partners in the future continue to ignore out position we should protect our interests by other means... Concrete measures might be needed... a response of a technically military nature," Lavrov told Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti in an interview published Tuesday.

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