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Myanmar Declares Emergency in War-Torn Region as Fighting Rages

Myanmar on Tuesday declared a state of emergency in a conflict-torn border region, where ferocious fighting between the army and ethnic rebels has sent thousands fleeing airstrikes and fierce gun battles.

Civilians have come under fire in the deadly clashes between the army and Kokang rebels in Shan state, local officials said, in fighting that has uprooted tens of thousands in the past week and sent a flood of refugees into China, which has voiced alarm over the escalating bloodshed.

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Patriotism and Fear as Ukraine Draftees Train for Front

Vitaliy Karpunets crawls under barbed wire before jumping over a smoking bonfire into a trench as he fires off his Kalashnikov at an imaginary enemy.

At a military training center some 60 kilometers (40 miles) north of Kiev, Karpunets, 40, and some 5,000 other recruits are being put through their paces.

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Paris Jihadists Believed to Have Met Night before Attacks

French investigators believe they have established that the jihadists who struck Paris last month were in direct contact before the attacks, a security source said on Tuesday.

Phone records appear to show that Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly met the night before they started three days of violence in and around Paris on January 7.

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Kosovo Marks Somber Anniversary Facing Exodus

Kosovo marked a somber seventh anniversary of independence from Serbia Tuesday as the mainly ethnic Albanian territory grapples with an exodus triggered by deep economic malaise.

Not a single Kosovo flag was flying on the main street in Pristina, with a special parliamentary session the only official event planned to celebrate the territory's unilateral breakaway from Belgrade in 2008.

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Hollande Seeks to Reassure French Jews after Cemetery Vandalism

President Francois Hollande vowed the state would protect French Jews with all its force as he led a ceremony Tuesday at a Jewish cemetery where hundreds of graves were vandalized. 

"I know some are asking if they can live in peace in their country, and ask who will protect them against those who wish them harm," Hollande said at the ceremony in Sarres-Union in the eastern Alsace region.

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Report: Four Arrested in Four Days for Insulting Erdogan

Turkey has stepped up arrests of activists accused of personally insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, detaining at least four people in the last four days on charges of slandering the Turkish strongman, reports said Tuesday

The opposition accuses the authorities of setting up a cult of personality around Erdogan, who moved to the presidency in August after over a decade as prime minister.

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Heavy Fighting in South Sudan Oil Zones, Says Defense Minister

Warring forces in South Sudan battled Tuesday in the oil-rich Upper Nile state, the defense minster said, claiming insurgents were trying to capture a key town ahead of peace talks.

Heavy shelling was reported in several sites in the northern Renk region on both Monday and Tuesday, Defense Minister Kuol Manyang told AFP, resulting in the "injuring of many civilians... and destroying a number of houses."

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Danish Police Underestimated Terror Threat Says Hunted Cartoonist

A Swedish cartoonist believed to have been the target of one of the deadly Copenhagen shootings said Tuesday that Danish police had underestimated the terrorist threat since January's Paris attacks.

"The attacker had good weapons, he had better weapons than the police," Lars Vilks, who has been forced into hiding since the weekend shootings, told AFP.

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Boko Haram Destroys Northeast Nigeria Town

Hundreds of Boko Haram militants stormed the town of Askira Uba in northeast Nigeria, burning homes and public buildings, as attacks continued despite a regional campaign against the Islamist rebels, witnesses said Tuesday.

Residents able to flee the town in Borno state left in droves, with only the sick and elderly remaining behind through the insurgents' rampage.

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At least 20 Dead by Electrocution in Haiti Carnival Accident

At least 20 people on a music group's packed Carnival float in the Haitian capital were killed Tuesday when they were electrocuted by a power line, officials said.

The accident occurred as thousands of people filled the streets of downtown Port-au-Prince for the raucous annual celebration. People at the scene said someone on the float used a pole or stick to move a power line so the float could pass under it.

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