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French Satirical Magazine Publishing Arab Spring Edition, Attacked with Molotov

The offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which published a special Arab Spring edition Wednesday with the prophet Mohammed as “guest editor", were gutted in a petrol bomb attack overnight, police said.

The fire at the magazine started around 01.00 am (02.00 GMT) and caused no injuries, a police source said.

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Global Conference on Afghanistan Future Opens in Istanbul

A global conference aimed at mapping out the future of war-torn Afghanistan after Western troops depart opened in Istanbul on Wednesday.

Representatives from 20 countries joined aid agency members at the Istanbul talks almost 10 years after the Taliban were driven out of power in Kabul.

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Four U.S. Men Arrested over Terror, Ricin Plots

Four U.S. men were arrested on Tuesday for plotting to attack government workers and official buildings, and for trying to manufacture the deadly biological toxin ricin, authorities said.

"These defendants, who are alleged to be part of a fringe militia group, are charged with planning attacks against their own fellow citizens and government," said Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia.

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U.N. Reports Progress in Cyprus Talks

Rival Greek- and Turkish- Cypriot leaders made "encouraging progress" in two days of talks on reuniting the divided Mediterranean island, U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.

The U.N. secretary general brought together Demetris Christofias, head of the internationally recognized Greek-Cypriot government, and Turkish-Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, for two days of talks at a retreat in the New York suburbs on Sunday and Monday.

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Vehicle Explosion in China Kills 4, Injures 30

Two vehicles carrying explosives detonated in southwest China on Tuesday, killing four people, injuring dozens of others and causing several nearby buildings to collapse, local authorities said.

The explosion took place around midday (04:00 GMT) at an auto repair workshop on a highway in Fuquan city in Guizhou province, a government spokesman and statement said.

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Russia Targets NATO Missile Shield

Russia could take steps of "a technically military nature" if its objections to NATO's planned missile defense system are not heeded, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a Serbian daily Tuesday.

"If our partners in the future continue to ignore out position we should protect our interests by other means... Concrete measures might be needed... a response of a technically military nature," Lavrov told Belgrade's Vecernje Novosti in an interview published Tuesday.

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Dozens of Tibetan Protesters Arrested in Nepal

Nepal police arrested more than 50 Tibetan exiles Tuesday as they demonstrated in support of monks from their homeland who have set themselves on fire in protest against Chinese rule, campaigners said.

Nine Buddhist monks and a nun have self-immolated since March in southwest China's Sichuan province, home to a large ethnic Tibetan population.

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Rogue U.S. Army Unit Leader Saw Afghans as 'Savages'

The ringleader of a rogue U.S. army unit accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport treated the locals like "savages," a court martial heard Monday.

The so-called "kill team" led by Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was "out of control," prosecutors added as grisly photos of soldiers posing with a corpse were shown in court.

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Hundreds of Rebels Dead in Clashes with Sudan Army

Hundreds of SPLM-North rebels were killed in clashes with the Sudanese army in South Kordofan on Monday, said a local governor in Sudan's only oil producing state where the army is battling insurgents.

"Several hundred members of the movement were killed this day in an assault on the city of Teludi that was repelled by the armed forces," governor Ahmed Haroun said of South Kordofan, the scene of frequent clashes.

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Cheers, Fears as World Welcomes 7 Billionth Baby

The world welcomed its symbolic seven billionth baby Monday amid a stark warning from U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon of the need to tackle inequality on a planet where almost a billion people go hungry.

"Our world is one of terrible contradictions," Ban told a press conference to mark the U.N. declaration that the world population has reached seven billion.

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