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White Powder-Filled Letters Sent to U.S. Schools

U.S. authorities are investigating some 29 letters that have been packed with suspicious white powder and delivered to Washington-area schools, local media reported late Thursday.

The powdered material is, however, thought to be harmless cornstarch, said FOX 5 News, citing an official source.

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Pakistan Army Admits 'Shortcomings' on bin Laden Intel

Pakistan's military on Thursday demanded the U.S. cut its troop presence in the country to a "minimum" as the fallout from the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden intensified.

After days of questions in Washington over how bin Laden could find shelter in the town of Abbottabad, army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani threatened to "review" cooperation with the U.S. in the event of another similar raid.

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Nuclear Leak Forces Russian Icebreaker Back to Port

Russia launched an urgent rescue mission Thursday after one of its atom-powered icebreakers developed a nuclear leak in the frozen seas of the Arctic and was forced to abandon its mission, Agence France Presse reported.

The Rosatomflot nuclear fleet said in a statement that "insignificant increase in activity" had been reported on board its Taimyr icebreaker.

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Obama Refuses to Release bin Laden Photos over ‘National Security Risks’

President Barack Obama decided Wednesday not to release photos of Osama bin Laden's corpse, citing national security risks and saying the United States should not brandish "trophies" of its victory.

Obama's war cabinet had been debating whether to publish gruesome post-mortem photos of the al-Qaida terror chief, who was gunned down by U.S. Special Forces in a covert raid inside Pakistan on Sunday.

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Russia Kills Top al-Qaida Militant

Russian security forces have killed a top al-Qaida militant in Chechnya who coordinated foreign rebels in the North Caucasus, the national anti-terror committee said on Wednesday.

The militant, named as Doger Sevdet, was a Turkish national who had taken on the nom-de-guerre of Abdullah Kurd and "was an envoy of al-Qaida in the Northern Caucasus," it said in a statement published on Russian news agencies.

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Russian Agent 'Betrayed Spy Ring for Money'

A top Russian secret service agent suspected of blowing the cover of a sleeper spy ring in the United States was a heavy drinker who betrayed Moscow purely to make money, sources said on Wednesday.

Alexander Poteyev, who will go on trial in absentia for treason in Moscow on May 16, is charged with having tipped off Washington about a ring of 10 Russian spies who were later deported in the biggest post-Cold War spy scandal.

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Pakistani PM Calls for World's Help, Police Seal Off Area Around bin Laden’s Home

Pakistan's Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Wednesday called for the world's help in fighting "terrorism and extremism" after the killing of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden near Islamabad.

"Security and the fight against extremism or terrorism is not the job of only one nation," Gilani told reporters in Paris, where he met with French business leaders.

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Ethiopian Gunmen Kill 38 at Kenya Border

At least 38 people were killed when Ethiopian armed men attacked a rival community in a remote border region of north Kenya, a local official said Wednesday, warning the toll could rise.

"Where the incident occurred is very remote and mostly not accessible," Rift Valley Provincial Commissioner Osman Warfa told Agence France Presse in an update on Tuesday's attack.

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France Fears Reprisals for bin Laden Killing

France fears it will be the target of reprisals for the killing by U.S. forces of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, French Interior Minister Claude Gueant said on Wednesday.

"Threats are everywhere and we can indeed fear that France will, like the United States and other friendly countries, be the target of reprisals and desire for vengeance," Gueant said on RTL radio.

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White House: Bin Laden Unarmed when Killed

Al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden was unarmed when he was shot dead by U.S. special forces, but he tried to resist and there was a "volatile firefight," the White House said Tuesday.

The revelation, likely to stoke anger in parts of the Muslim world, came from President Barack Obama's spokesman Jay Carney as he provided the most detailed account yet of the Sunday night raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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