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Bomb Blast Kills 2 in Philippines

A homemade bomb killed two men when it exploded Thursday on the motorcycle they were riding in a southern town, police said. A bystander was wounded.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the men were innocent victims or were carrying the bomb that went off accidentally in Maguindanao province's Datu Odin Sinsuat township, provincial police chief Senior Superintendent Marcelo Pintac said.

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U.S. Lawmakers Decry Russia Vote, Warn of Blacklist

U.S. lawmakers rebuked Moscow's leadership Wednesday for "manipulating" recent elections, and urged legislation to blacklist any Russian believed responsible for rights violations from traveling to the United States.

At a U.S. Senate hearing focused on corruption and rule of law in Russia, days after tens of thousands of demonstrators marched charging electoral fraud, State Department officials said they recognized a "national awakening" among Russian citizens calling for accountability of their government.

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U.S. House Targets Pakistan Aid, Iran Central Bank

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed legislation to freeze some Pakistan aid, slap harsh new sanctions on Iran, and endorse indefinite imprisonment of suspected terrorists.

Acting shortly after the White House dropped a threat to veto the bill, the Republican-led chamber voted 283-136 to approve the $662 billion Defense Authorization bill, which also sets high hurdles for closing Guantanamo Bay.

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Swiss MPs Vote in Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as President

Switzerland's parliament elected Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as president on Wednesday to replace outgoing leader Micheline Calmy-Rey.

The Federal Assembly voted in Widmer-Schlumpf of the center-right Conservative Democrats to head the rotating office with 174 votes out of a possible 211, after voting in a new seven-member government cabinet in Bern.

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Salehi Rejects Iranian Officials Threats against Turkey

Iran dismissed intimidating remarks by its own officials against Turkey saying Tehran would target NATO's missile shield in its neighbor if threatened, the state-run Anatolia news agency reported Wednesday.

"We reject those views completely," Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told Anatolia in an interview, adding that those who had made the irresponsible statements had been warned.

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Philippines Sends Newest Warship to Disputed Waters

The Philippines launched its newest warship on Wednesday, a former U.S. coast guard cutter that President Benigno Aquino said would be deployed to waters at the heart of a territorial dispute with China.

Aquino said the 115-meter Gregorio del Pilar would lead patrols in the parts of the South China Sea that the Philippines claims exclusively as its own and where exploration for potentially lucrative gas fields is underway.

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U.S. Soldier in WikiLeaks Case to Get His Day in Court

A year and a half after his arrest, Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of turning hundreds of thousands of classified U.S. documents over to WikiLeaks, gets his first day in court on Friday.

Manning, who turns 24 on Saturday, is scheduled to appear at a preliminary military hearing at Fort Meade near Baltimore, Maryland, the headquarters of the top secret National Security Agency.

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U.N. Asks for $7.7 Billion in 2012 Aid Funding

The United Nations said on Wednesday it needed $7.7 billion in aid funding for 16 countries next year, with the biggest chunk to go towards helping victims in drought-devastated Horn of Africa.

Some $1.5 billion in funds are destined for Somalia, where 250,000 people are at risk of imminent death.

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Roadside Bomb Kills Afghan District Chief

A roadside bomb killed an anti-Taliban district governor and two of his bodyguards Wednesday in southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province, an official said.

The governor of Khan Neshin district, Massoud Khan, was a fierce opponent of drug smugglers and the Taliban, who issued him with death threats, provincial spokesman Daud Ahmedi told Agence Francce Presse.

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Report: Turkish Police Detain 6 Qaida Suspects

Turkish police detained six people over alleged ties to the al-Qaida extremist network in western Turkey, Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday.

Police arrested the suspects, including the alleged regional head of the outlawed organization, during simultaneous raids at different addresses in western town of Kemalpasa and province of Manisa, Anatolia said.

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