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Death Toll from China Mine Blast Hits 30

The death toll from a coal mine blast in China has risen to 30, officials said Monday, as hopes faded for seven miners still trapped -- prompting anger from web users wishing for a Chile-style rescue.

Saturday's accident in the central province of Henan was the first major incident in China's notoriously dangerous mines since the dramatic rescue last week of 33 miners trapped for more than two months in Chile, watched worldwide.

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China Mine Accident Leaves 20 Dead, 17 Trapped

A China coal mine accident killed 20 miners and left another 17 missing underground Saturday, the government said, in the latest tragedy highlighting appalling safety conditions in the nation's mines.

The mine in the central province of Henan was hit by a "sudden coal and gas outburst" as 276 miners were at work below ground, the national work safety agency said on its website.

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The Last of 33 Chilean Miners Rescued … A Thrilling End

The last of the Chilean miners, the foreman who held them together when they were feared lost, was raised from the depths of the earth Wednesday night — a joyous ending to a 69-day ordeal that riveted the world. No one has ever been trapped so long and survived.

Luis Urzua ascended smoothly through 2,000 feet of rock, completing a 22 1/2-hour rescue operation that unfolded with remarkable speed and flawless execution. Before a jubilant crowd of about 2,000 people, he became the 33rd miner to be rescued.

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First of 33 Chile Miners Return to Surface after 10-Week Ordeal

Wild celebrations erupted Wednesday as the first of 33 men trapped underground for 10 weeks in a collapsed Chile mine triumphantly returned to the surface in a landmark rescue operation.

A powerful light danced across the twilight sky when 31-year-old Florencio Avalos stepped out of a special steel rescue cage and breathed in the fresh air for the first time in 69 days.

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French PM Rules Out New Concessions to Protestors

France's Prime Minister Francois Fillon on Tuesday ruled out making new concessions to strikers protesting against the raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62, lawmakers said.

"We have reached the limit of what is possible" in amending the bill, currently under debate in the upper house Senate, lawmakers quoted Prime Minister Francois Fillon as telling them at a meeting.

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Four Italian Soldiers Killed in Afghanistan

Four Italian soldiers were killed and a fifth seriously injured in Afghanistan when a bomb blew up their vehicle on Saturday, the defense ministry announced.

The soldiers were ambushed as they returned from a mission in the Gulistan valley in the southwestern province of Farah, General Massimo Fogari, head of the press service at the defense chief of staff told the television network Tg 24.

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29 NATO Tankers Torched in New Pakistan Attack

Gunmen Saturday torched at least 29 oil tankers in southwest Pakistan, the sixth attack in just over a week as Islamist militants continue to target a NATO supply route into Afghanistan.

Two police officers were hurt in the attack in remote Mitri area, 180 kilometers (112 miles) southeast of Quetta, the capital of oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

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Afghan Governor, 14 Others Killed in Mosque Blast

An outspoken anti-Taliban governor and 14 other people were killed Friday when a massive blast tore through a mosque in northern Afghanistan, a police commander told AFP.

A government spokesman said the explosion was caused by a planted bomb in Taluqan, the capital of Takhar province.

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U.S. Will Continue to Supply Lebanese Army

The U.S. administration wants lawmakers to restore millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to the Lebanese army that they suspended over concerns it could be used to target Israel, senior administration and congressional officials told The Associated Press.

They said a review of the assistance has concluded its resumption was in the interest of America's national security and Middle East stability.

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Naomi Campbell to Judges: I Was Given 'Dirty-Looking Stones’

Naomi Campbell testified before the war crimes tribunal Thursday, confirming that she had received some "dirty-looking stones" after a dinner with former Liberian ruler Charles Taylor but stopping short of saying they were diamonds or that she was given the gift by Taylor himself.

Campbell was being questioned in Taylor's war crimes trial about claims made by actress Mia Farrow that Taylor gave the model an uncut diamond or diamonds after a dinner party hosted by Nelson Mandela that they all attended in South Africa in 1997.

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