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Netherlands Freezes Contacts with Iran over Hanging of Dutch Woman

The Dutch government said Saturday it was freezing its contacts with Iran, decrying the hanging of an Iranian-Dutch woman in the Islamic republic as an "act committed by a barbarous regime."

"The Netherlands has decided to freeze all contacts with Iran" after obtaining confirmation of Zahra Bahrami's execution from Iran's ambassador to the Netherlands, foreign ministry spokesman Bengt van Loosdrecht told Agence France Presse.

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Buildings Burn after Clashes Injure a Dozen in Nigeria

Filling stations, churches and mosques were set ablaze in central Nigeria's city of Jos on Saturday after students were wounded when soldiers opened fire to quell a protest overnight, security officials and students said.

Clashes had broken out Friday after three university students were stabbed by motor-cycle riding Muslim villagers outside their hostel.

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Deputy Governor Killed in Afghanistan

The deputy governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the spiritual home of the Taliban, was killed in a suicide car bomb attack on Saturday, local authorities said.

Abdul Latif Ashna was killed in the attack in Kandahar city while five others were wounded, the provincial press spokesman said, without providing further details.

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8 Killed in Blast at Kabul Market Frequented by Foreigners

A bomb exploded inside a grocery store frequented by foreigners on Friday in Kabul, killing at least eight people and injuring others, police and eyewitnesses said.

Three foreigners and a child were among the dead, Kabul Police Chief Mohammad Ayub Salangi told reporters at the scene.

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South Africa Says 'No Need to Panic' over Mandela Hospitalization

Anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela was starting his third day in a Johannesburg hospital Friday, but the South African government says there is no need to panic.

In a statement late Thursday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe offered no specifics on why Mandela, 92, was taken to the hospital Wednesday, but said he was undergoing specialized tests.

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Indonesian Passenger Ferry Fire Kills 16

At least 16 people were killed when a fire broke out overnight on an Indonesian ferry with more than 400 people on board, the transport ministry said Friday.

The ferry caught fire in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra, about three kilometers (two miles) from the port of Merak at the westernmost tip of Java, at around 3:30 am.

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Explosion at Davos Hotel during World Economic Forum

A small blast shattered two windows but caused no injuries at a hotel near where top business and political leaders are attending the World Economic Forum, Swiss police said Thursday.

The explosion happened in a storage room of the Posthotel Morosani shortly after 9 a.m. local time (0800 GMT) Thursday, regional police spokesman Thomas Hobi told the Associated Press.

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Airlines Cancel Bali Flights to Avoid Dangerous Volcanic Ash

Several international flights to and from the resort island of Bali were cancelled or diverted Thursday to avoid dangerous ash spewing from an Indonesian volcano, officials said.

Ash from rumbling Mount Bromo, a popular attraction in East Java province, had spread to the island popular with foreign tourists and surfers.

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21 Workers Killed in Colombia Mine Blast

An explosion likely caused by a methane gas buildup ripped through an underground coal mine in Colombia during a shift change Wednesday, killing 21 workers, officials said. A similar fatal blast occurred at the same mine four years ago.

Five of the victims died at the mine's entrance and by afternoon two bodies had been removed from the mine with another 14 left to recover, said the provincial Colombian Red Cross director, Johel Enrique Rodriguez.

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Russia Ratifies U.S. Nuclear Disarmament Treaty

Russia's upper house of parliament Wednesday ratified the new U.S. nuclear disarmament treaty, the final step in approving the first nuclear pact between the two former Cold War foes in 20 years.

All 137 senators in the Federation Council upper house approved the new START treaty, which U.S. President Barack Obama and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev signed in Prague on April 8, 2010.

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