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Kerry: U.S. Avoiding 'Confrontation' in Sea Row

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday said Washington wanted to avoid "confrontation" in the South China Sea, after an international tribunal rejected Beijing's claims to most of the waters.

Kerry made the remarks after meeting with Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay in Manila where they discussed the Southeast Asian nation's sweeping victory in the arbitration case against China.

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Iran Announces May 19 Presidential Election

Iran's Guardian Council announced Wednesday that next year's presidential election will take place on May 19 with embattled incumbent Hassan Rouhani expected to run for a second term.

Rouhani, a moderate who oversaw a deal with world powers to end sanctions in exchange for curbing Iran's nuclear program, faces mounting pressure from conservatives who want to limit rapprochement with the West.

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Flood, Landslides Kill 33 at least 58 in Nepal

At least 58 people have died in floods and landslides triggered by heavy rains in Nepal, the government said Wednesday.

Another 20 people are missing and the Nepal army is racing to evacuate hundreds more from flooded villages as the waters rise.

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N. Korea Floats Propaganda Leaflets in River for 1st Time

South Korea on Wednesday accused rival North Korea of floating propaganda leaflets down a river in the first such incident.

South Korea's military discovered dozens of plastic bags, each carrying about 20 leaflets, near the estuary of Seoul's Han River close to the tense Korean border last Friday, according to the South's Defense Ministry. Seoul is only an hour's drive from the border.

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Indian Activist to End Her Nearly 16-Year Hunger Strike

A frail 44-year-old activist who has been on a hunger strike for nearly 16 years to protest alleged brutality by India's military says she'll end her fast and run in state elections.

Irom Sharmila told a court in the northeastern state of Manipur on Tuesday that she'll give up her fast on Aug. 9 and stand as an independent candidate in elections early next year.

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Afghan Forces Step Up Anti-IS Offensive after Deadly Attack

Afghan forces backed by U.S. airstrikes Tuesday ramped up an offensive against the Islamic State group in their eastern stronghold, days after the jihadists claimed the deadliest attack for 15 years in the capital Kabul.

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N. Korea Says Any Further Nuclear Test Depends on U.S.

North Korea's foreign minister said Tuesday that any decision to stage a further nuclear test would depend on the United States, as he held Washington responsible for scuppering denuclearization efforts on the Korean peninsula.

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U.S. Authorizes Departure of Families of Staff in Turkey after Coup

The U.S. State Department has authorized the voluntary departure of the families of staff posted in Turkey after an abortive coup targeting the government, the embassy said on its website on Tuesday.

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Two More Arrests in Connection with France Truck Attack

French police arrested two men in connection with the Bastille Day massacre in Nice which left 84 people dead, a source close to the investigation said Tuesday.

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Turkey PM Says to Work with Opposition on New Constitution as Media Targeted

Turkish authorities on Monday issued arrest warrants for over 40 journalists in a new phase of the controversial legal crackdown after the failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, sparking fresh alarm over the scope of the detentions.

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