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Tourists Evacuated from Timbuktu after Mali Kidnappings

Authorities on Saturday evacuated all tourists from the ancient city of Timbuktu in northern Mali, a day after three foreigners were kidnapped and another killed, an airport official said.

The 20 or so tourists were flown by government-chartered aircraft to Mopti, south of Timbuktu, and to the capital Bamako.

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Nigeria Hold Mass Burial for Clash Victims

The death toll in clashes between Muslim and Christian ethnic groups in central Nigeria has risen to 25, a local official said Saturday, following a mass burial that included four of his own children.

Pam Choji, a counselor in Barkin Ladi local government council, who lost four children in Wednesday's attack, said that 23 of the victims were entered on Friday.

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Pope Names U.S. Archbishop as New Envoy to Ireland

Pope Benedict XVI on Saturday named U.S. archbishop Charles John Brown to be his new envoy to Ireland, after the previous ambassador was withdrawn during a row over child abuse scandals.

The 52-year-old Brown has been working since 1994 at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the main Vatican department that enforces Church teachings and is now charged with investigating thousands of abuse cases.

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Kinshasa Police Ban Campaign Rallies ahead of DR Congo Poll

Police banned all political rallies in Kinshasa Saturday after a man died in a stoning on the final day of campaigning for the Democratic Republic of Congo's national elections.

"We have decided to ban all gatherings and meetings, there has been a death," said Kinshasa police chief Jean de Dieu Oleko at Kinshasa airport, where thousands gathered to meet President Joseph Kabila and opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, the main rivals in Monday's polls.

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Russia's Opposition Threatens 'Falsified Vote' Protests

A top Russian opposition group accused Vladimir Putin's ruling party on Saturday of preparing to win next week's parliamentary polls through fraud and threatened mass protests in case of an unfair result.

A Moscow rally organized by A Just Russia -- the smallest of four parties in the State Duma lower house of parliament -- drew some 500 protesters to a small square near the Kremlin under threatening skies.

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China Sentences 113 in Tainted Pork Scandal

More than 100 people, including over a dozen Chinese government employees, have been sentenced over chemical-laced pork that caused a food safety scandal earlier this year, state media said Saturday. One person was given the death penalty.

An investigation into the safety of pork was launched in March after several farms in central Henan province were found using the fat-burning drug clenbuterol — a banned chemical that makes pork leaner but can be harmful to humans — in pig feed. A subsidiary of Shuanghui Group, China's largest meat processor, was one company selling tainted pork.

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Pakistan: ‘Unprovoked’ NATO Air Attack Kills 26 Troops

Pakistan accused NATO on Saturday of killing up to 26 soldiers in air strikes, protesting in the strongest terms to the U.S. and sealing its border to NATO supplies bound for Afghanistan.

It was the deadliest NATO attack reported by Pakistan during the 10-year war in Afghanistan and looked set to inflame already extremely difficult U.S.-Pakistani relations still reeling from the May killing of Osama bin Laden.

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Three More Europeans Abducted, One Killed in Mali

An armed gang of kidnappers abducted three Europeans and killed a fourth in the Timbuktu region of northern Mali, security sources said on Friday.

The victim who was shot dead had tried to resist his abduction, according to the sources who did not give the nationality of the hostages.

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Poland Plans its First Atomic Power Plant on Baltic

Poland's first nuclear power plant, due to come on line by 2020, is set to be located near the Baltic Sea, Polish energy group PGE said on Friday.

Three potential sites near the coast, at Zarnowiec, Choczewo and Gaski, were picked from around a hundred proposed locations, PGE chief Tomasz Zadroga told reporters.

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French Soldiers in Mali Area where Hostages Seized

French soldiers joined the Mali army Friday in the hunt for two French geologists who were kidnapped by an armed gang this week, an Agence France Presse journalist reported.

The two hostages were seized from their hotel in the eastern village of Hombori near the border with Niger early Thursday, in an assault bearing the hallmark of al-Qaida linked Islamist militants.

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