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China Lauds Power, Proclaims Peace at Military Spectacular

Chinese President Xi Jinping lauded his country as a major power and a force for world peace Thursday as he presided over a spectacular military parade marking the 70th anniversary of Japan's defeat in World War II.

With concerns rife over China's rise, Xi announced that the People's Liberation Army -- the world's largest military -- would be reduced by 300,000 personnel, although the defense ministry said the cuts would mainly fall on outdated units and non-combat staff.

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Pentagon: Five Chinese Naval Ships Spotted in Bering Sea

The Pentagon on Wednesday confirmed the presence of five Chinese naval vessels in the Bering Sea between Russia and Alaska, which U.S. President Barack Obama is currently visiting.

It was believed to be the first time Chinese military ships have been spotted in the area and is another sign of China's global presence expanding far beyond its own shores.

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Embattled Mexico Leader Acknowledges National 'Outrage'

His popularity plunging, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto used his annual state-of-the-nation speech on Wednesday to acknowledge national anger over violence and scandals that have shaken the country.

Pena Nieto invoked last year's disappearance and likely slaughter of 43 college students, and the July 11 jailbreak of Mexico's most powerful drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman.

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Two U.S. Police Suspended after Shooting Captured on Video

Two U.S. police officers have been suspended after a video surfaced showing the fatal shooting of a man with at least one arm up at the time, local media reported Wednesday. 

The roughly four-minute footage was aired by KSAT, a local broadcaster in San Antonio, Texas, who paid $100 for it.

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U.S. Trains in Black Sea with Ukraine's Depleted Navy

The United States is co-hosting drills in the Black Sea with what is left of Ukraine's devastated navy, which lost about two thirds of its sailors and ships after Russia seized Crimea last year.

The maritime operation, dubbed Sea Breeze, began Tuesday and is an annual exercise that this year includes contingents from 11 countries practicing air defense, search-and-rescue procedures and a variety of other tactical maneuvers aimed at boosting regional security.

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Canadian Medical Student Charged with Planning a Deadly Rampage

A former Canadian medical student facing charges for allegedly threatening to kill the dean and her daughter also planned to go on a suicidal rampage and kill 10 to 20 others, local media reported Wednesday.

The 30-year-old had told his psychiatrist, who in turn alerted police, of his plans in mid-August.

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Pakistan Air Strikes Kill 31 Militants in Tribal Areas

Pakistan's military on Wednesday said it had killed at least 31 militants in air strikes in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border.

It said in a brief statement that militant hideouts were targeted in the Kyber and Shawal tribal districts, with 14 "terrorists" killed in Khyber and 17 killed in Shawal.

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Kurdish Leader Says Turkey Polls 'Impossible' amid Security Crisis

The leader of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democracy Party in Turkey said Wednesday it was "impossible" to hold snap polls in November because of the surge in violence between security forces and Kurdish rebels. 

"The (necessary) conditions don't exist in the southeast to hold the elections. Our comrades who returned from the region have nothing good to say," Selahattin Demirtas was quoted as saying on the Hurriyet newspaper's website. 

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Iran Militia Burns 'Enemy' Flags outside Ex-U.S. Embassy

Students from Iran's Islamic Bassij militia on Wednesday set fire to American, British and Israeli flags outside the former U.S. embassy in Tehran, AFP journalists said.

Some 30 people took part in trampling and burning the flags at a ceremony to unveil a plaque on the embassy's fence of 100 derogative expressions to describe the United States.

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Czech Police Spark Uproar by Tagging Refugees with Numbers

Human rights activists and lawyers in the Czech Republic on Wednesday slammed local police for marking the hands of refugees with numbers after detaining them on a train.

"There is no law allowing the police to mark people like this," Zuzana Candigliota, a lawyer with the Czech Human Rights League, told AFP.

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