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Hundreds of Romanians Call on President to Quit

Hundreds of Romanians rallied in Bucharest on Saturday to protest against austerity measures and a planned health care reform, calling on President Traian Basescu to quit.

Chanting "Resignation" and "Fear Not, Basescu Will Be Toppled," the protesters marched towards the presidential palace, closely monitored by some 150 police.

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Sudan Denies Killing 16 Villagers in S. Kordofan Bombing

The Sudanese military on Saturday denied bombing civilians in an operation which rebels said left 16 villagers and five government troops dead near the South Sudanese frontier.

Four rebels were wounded and "less than three" killed in the fighting, Mubarak Abdelrahman Ahmed, of the rebel youth wing in South Kordofan state, told Agence France Presse by satellite telephone.

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Iran Mulls 'Punishing' U.S., Israel, UK for Assassination of Nuclear Scientist

Iran is looking at "punishing" those behind the assassination of one of its nuclear scientists, a senior military official said on Saturday, pointing the finger at the United States, Israel and Britain.

"We consider committing a terrorist act of killing a scientist to be a threat to the nation... We are looking at punishing those who were behind the scenes of the martyrdom (assassination) of Mostafa Ahmedi Roshan," the deputy chief of Iran's joint armed forces, Masoud Jazayeri, was quoted as saying by several media.

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Zardari Meets Pakistan Army Chief

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari met the chief of the powerful army on Saturday for rare face-to-face talks amid a civilian-military standoff that is shaking the government, a spokesman said.

The unscheduled talks come against the background of shaky ties between Zardari's weak civilian administration and the military over a probe into a mysterious memo that sought U.S. help in curbing the army's power.

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Pakistan Quells Militant Attack in Tribal Region, 8 Killed

Pakistani security forces Saturday quelled a militant attack on a police station in which eight people were killed including four suicide bombers, one police and three civilians, police said.

The attackers targeted the main police station in Dera Ismail Khan city near the lawless tribal region, provincial information minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain told Agence France Presse.

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Gunmen Kill 4 in Attacks on Pubs in Northeast Nigeria

Gunmen have attacked two pubs in northeastern Nigeria, killing four people amid a wave of such violence blamed on Islamist group Boko Haram, residents and police said Saturday.

The attacks occurred in two neighboring states on Friday night and involved gunmen riding on motorcycles storming in on the drinking spots.

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Report: Mossad Agents Posed as CIA to Recruit Militants

Agents with Israel's Mossad agency posed as American CIA agents in operations to recruit members of the Pakistani militant group Jundallah to attack Iranian targets, a report in Foreign Policy magazine said Friday.

Using American dollars and U.S. passports, the agents passed themselves off as members of the Central Intelligence Agency in the operations, notably in London, according to memos from 2007 and 2008, said the report.

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Hundreds of Political Prisoners Freed in Myanmar

Myanmar has released more than 300 people deemed by the opposition to be political prisoners, a minister said Saturday, after the West hailed the move as a substantial sign of reform.

Home Affairs Minister Lieutenant General Ko Ko insisted however that none of them had been jailed for political reasons, saying: "We didn't take action against anyone because of politics or beliefs."

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U.S. Official Confirms Iran Navy Harassed U.S. Ships in the Gulf

Iranian Navy speed boats harassed U.S. naval vessels in two recent incidents in the Strait of Hormuz, a senior U.S. defense official said, confirming a CNN report.

The first incident occurred as the USS New Orleans, an amphibious transport ship, was sailing last week through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf.

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3 Dead, 70 Missing in Italian Cruise Ship Disaster

Survivors of a luxury cruise liner that keeled over off Tuscany, killing three people and leaving 70 unaccounted for, on Saturday told of scenes 'like the Titanic'.

Terrified passengers tried to get into lifeboats and at least one person reportedly jumped into the sea.

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