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Deadly Shootout in Lawless City in Sudan's Darfur

A Sudanese policeman was killed in a shootout with gangsters in North Darfur capital El Fasher on Tuesday in the latest sign of growing lawlessness in the state, sources said.

A medical source at the hospital in El Fasher told AFP the dead policeman was brought in with two wounded colleagues.

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Welcome to Republic of Crimea, Russia's Newest Addition

Its borders are patrolled by Russian troops and it adopted the ruble on its first day of "independence" -- welcome to the "Republic of Crimea".

Now claimed by Moscow as part of its territory, Crimea is still officially deemed part of Ukraine by the rest of the international community and its separatist leaders have already been hit with a series of EU and U.S. sanctions.

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Militant Islamist Group Backs China Station Attack

A militant Islamist group has voiced support for a mass stabbing at a Chinese railway station that killed 29 people, the U.S.-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors extremist organizations, said Tuesday.

The Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP) released a video online about the March 1 attack at Kunming railway station in the southwestern province of Yunnan.

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Obama Asks G7, EU to Meet next Week in The Hague on Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a G7 summit next week to discuss the escalating showdown with Russia over Crimea.

The White House said Obama asked fellow leaders of the grouping -- minus G8 member Russia -- to join him in the Hague, where he will be attending a nuclear security summit, to discuss the crisis and how to support Ukraine.

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West Condemns Russian Annexation of Crimea as Britain Halts Arms Exports to Moscow

Britain warned Tuesday that the West and Russia faced a changed relationship in the coming years, as London suspended all bilateral military cooperation and halted arms exports to Russia.

Foreign Secretary William Hague said President Vladimir Putin had chosen the "route of isolation" by signing a treaty annexing Crimea just two days after a hastily arranged referendum on the breakaway peninsula.

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Nigeria to Use 'Soft' Tactics to Curb Boko Haram Violence

Nigeria on Tuesday unveiled a new "soft power" plan to defeat Boko Haram, hoping to win hearts and minds in the restive northeast, as the military said it was tightening the net on the ground.

National security adviser Sambo Dasuki said the government was to introduce schemes to encourage local communities to shun extremism as well as "de-radicalize" suspected militants awaiting trial.

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Iran's Official Hopes Opposition Chiefs to Be Freed

The head of the Iranian judiciary's High Council of Human Rights said Tuesday he hoped that two reformist opposition leaders will be freed from more than three years of house arrest, media reported.

Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, both candidates in the disputed 2009 presidential election won by incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been held incommunicado since February 2011.

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Pakistan Jails British Woman for Drug-Smuggling

A court in Pakistan on Tuesday jailed a British mother-of-three for life for attempting to smuggle 63 kilograms (139 pounds) of heroin out of the country.

Khadija Shah, who is from the central city of Birmingham and of Pakistani descent, was arrested at Islamabad airport in May 2012 when the drugs were found in her luggage.

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Somali Shebab Suicide Commandos Attack Newly Captured Town

Somalia's Al-Qaida linked Shebab attacked a hotel crowded with army officers in a southern town days after African Union troops celebrated its capture from the Islamists, security officials said Tuesday.

A suicide bomber rammed a car packed full of explosives into the hotel, with gunmen then attacking, killing at least eight people, residents said.

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Ukraine PM Says No Plans to Join NATO

Ukraine's new Western-backed prime minister said Tuesday that the ex-Soviet country had no plans to join NATO following last month's fall of a pro-Kremlin regime.

Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk delivered a special address to the nation designed to ease tensions between Ukrainian nationalists who spearheaded three months of protests against the pro-Moscow authorities and Russian speakers who view the new pro-European government in Kiev with mistrust.

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