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Drivers Circle Moscow in Anti-Putin Protest

Hundreds of Moscow drivers flying white balloons and ribbons circled the Kremlin on Sunday in noisy protest against Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's likely return as president in March 4 polls.

The second such auto rally in three weeks was due to be picked up in other cities as the opposition sought to keep up momentum after launching the biggest wave of anti-Putin rallies in his 12-year rule in December.

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Netanyahu Meeting U.S. Security Official amid Iran Tensions

A top U.S. security official was due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday amid rising concerns over Iran and ahead of a trip by the Israeli premier to Washington.

The White House has said that National Security Advisor Tom Donilon would talk to senior Israeli officials on a range of issues, including Syria. An Israeli official said he would meet Netanyahu on Sunday afternoon.

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Somali Leaders Sign Deal for New Government Structure

Somalia's disparate leaders have agreed on the basic structure of a new parliament and government to replace the fragile transitional body that has failed to bring peace to the war-torn country.

Constant infighting, rampant corruption and bloody attacks by Islamist Shebab insurgents have undermined Somalia's unelected Transitional Federal Government (TFG), whose Western-backed mandate ends in August.

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Harsh Winter Kills 40 Children in Afghanistan

A harsh winter has killed almost 40 children in Afghanistan in the past month, most of them in refugee camps in Kabul with aid groups warning Sunday of more deaths as temperatures keep falling.

Twenty-four children lost their lives in camps on the outskirts of the capital which houses thousands of Afghans fleeing war and Taliban intimidation in southern Afghanistan.

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Pakistan Bomb Kills Six Members of Tribal Militia

A bomb blast Sunday in Pakistan's troubled northwest killed six members of a tribal militia set up to combat militants, and wounded three others, an official said.

The bomb, in the lawless Khyber tribal district on the Afghan border, was planted by local militant group Lashkar-e-Islam, which is led by warlord Mangal Bagh, said local government official Khalid Mumtaz.

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BBC: Iran 'Building up Nuclear Site near Qom'

Iran may be preparing to expand its nuclear program at an underground plant near the city of Qom, a diplomat has told the BBC, just days ahead of a visit by United Nations nuclear inspectors.

Iran appears to be poised to install thousands of new centrifuges at the underground site in the northern city, a Vienna-based diplomat told the British broadcaster late Friday.

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Army Chief: Israel Will Make Own Decision on Iran

Israel will ultimately decree on an Iranian strike on its own, its military chief of staff said in an interview broadcast Saturday, as a senior U.S. official arrived for talks on the Islamic Republic.

"Israel is the central guarantor of its own security; this is our role as army, the State of Israel should defend itself," Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told state-owned Channel One TV.

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China Bus Crashes Kill 28 in One Day

At least 28 people have been killed and dozens injured in three bus crashes in one day in southern China, state media reported Sunday.

A bus overturned on a mountainous road in southwestern Yunnan province late Saturday, killing at least nine passengers and injuring 24, Xinhua news agency said.

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African Leaders Launch Security Talks in Benin

African leaders on Saturday began talks on insecurity in the Sahel region where fresh violence in Mali has sparked what rights groups say is the area's worst human rights crisis in 20 years.

As many as 25 government leaders were expected for the meeting, but more than a dozen, including the host, were present at the start of closed door talks in the small West African country of Benin.

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17 Russian Troops Killed in Caucasus Battle

Russian troops suffered 17 dead and 24 wounded in a days-long battle with insurgents in the restive North Caucasus region, Chechnya's Interior Minister Ruslan Alkhanov said Saturday.

A previous toll on Friday was 13 killed in the deadliest unrest in months.

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