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Thousands Homeless in Flooded Sierra Leone Capital

Thousands of people were going into a second week in makeshift camps after being made homeless by severe flooding as Sierra Leone was buffeted by torrential rain, the authorities said Wednesday.

Floodwater destroyed houses and swept away property and vehicles as the capital Freetown, an overcrowded coastal city of 1.2 million mainly poor inhabitants, was pounded by torrential rain on Wednesday last week. 

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New 1,000-Bed U.N. Refugee Camp on Greece Border with Macedonia

The U.N. refugee agency on Thursday opens a new 1,000-bed camp, equipped with rows of toilets and showers, wifi and chargers, on the Greece-Macedonia border for thousands of people on the move from the Aegean to western Europe.

The makeshift stopover facilities near the small town of Idomeni in northern Greece aim to offer temporary shelter and facilities including health care to the streams of refugees from war and persecution, ANA news agency said.

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Africans, Venezuela Oppose U.N. Action on Migrant Smugglers

A British-drafted resolution aimed at scaling up European military action against migrant smugglers off Libya's coast has run into opposition from Venezuela and African countries at the U.N. Security Council, a senior diplomat said Wednesday.

The measure would allow European forces to inspect and seize ships in international waters as part of efforts to stem the flow migrants making the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to reach Europe.

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Outcry as 9/11 Conspiracy Theorist Joins Greek Government

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras asked his nationalist coalition partners for an explanation Wednesday after outrage erupted over his appointment of a minister notorious for anti-Semitic and homophobic remarks.

Dimitris Kammenos, a lawmaker from the nationalist Independent Greeks party who has been named junior infrastructure minister, sparked uproar earlier this year by comparing the EU to Auschwitz.

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Colombia Leader, Rebel Chief to Cuba in Push for Peace Deal

Colombia's president and the head of the FARC rebel group were due to meet in Cuba on Wednesday in a push to seal a peace accord and end a half-century guerrilla war.

After nearly three years of stop-and-start peace talks in Havana between the Bogota government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), President Juan Manuel Santos announced the surprise trip on Twitter, saying: "Peace is near."

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Madrid Tells Catalans they Would 'Lose Nationality' if they Secede

Catalans would lose their Spanish nationality if their region becomes independent, Spain's Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo warned Wednesday, four days ahead of an election framed as an indirect vote on secession.

Nationalist leaders of the wealthy northeastern region have vowed to declare Catalonia independent as early as within 18 months if they win a majority of seats in the regional assembly in Sunday's polls.

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Hungary PM Rejects Merkel's 'Moral Imperialism' in Refugee Crisis

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Wednesday rejected what he called German Chancellor Angela Merkel's "moral imperialism" in Europe's migrant crisis.

When asked what he expected from Merkel while Europe grapples with an influx of asylum-seekers, the hardline leader grinned: "I have a long list."

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Obama Offers Pope Warm White House Welcome

President Barack Obama and Pope Francis married their political and spiritual power to urge action on immigration and the environment Wednesday, during the popular pontiff's maiden White House visit.

America's first black president offered the first Latin American pope a stately and effusive welcome on the South Lawn, praising his moral leadership on issues that politics have struggled to address.

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Toppled Burkina President Resumes Power after Week-Long Coup

Burkina Faso's toppled interim President Michel Kafando resumed power Wednesday after a week-long coup by renegade troops, who caved in under pressure from regional powers and former colonial ruler France.

The move came after marathon talks in the capital of regional and military heavyweight Nigeria, brokered by the ECOWAS west African regional bloc, and threats by French President Francois Hollande that the coup leaders could face sanctions if they did not hand back power.

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Report: Turkish Soldier Killed in PKK Attack in Southeast

A Turkish soldier was killed in southeastern Diyarbakir province in a new attack blamed on the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a security source said.

Sergeant Mehmet Ali Sarak, 25, came under fire from PKK militants with automatic rifles while on his way to his army base in the Silvan district of Diyarbakir, the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

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