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Vietnam and China Lock Horns over Sea Row

Vietnamese and Chinese officials have locked horns over a maritime dispute that sparked deadly rioting in Vietnam, with Hanoi's defense minister Tuesday saying the neighbors have yet to reach any agreement.

Tensions remain high in the region after an eruption of anti-China rage in Vietnam over Beijing's controversial plans to drill for oil in contested waters, in which angry mobs last week attacked hundreds of foreign-owned businesses, killing two Chinese nationals.

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Conservatives Narrowly Lead Socialists in EU Vote

Conservative parties across Europe hold a narrow lead over their socialist rivals on the eve of elections for the next five-year European Parliament, according to a poll published Tuesday.

The PollWatch2014 survey issued as EU citizens prepare for the May 22-25 ballot showed conservatives in the European People's Party (EPP) picking up 217 seats against 201 for the Socialists and Democrats (S&D).

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Battle in Darfur City Leaves Several Dead

Urban fighting between government and militia forces killed several people in Sudan's Darfur on Tuesday, sources said, ending an uneasy calm after the region's worst unrest in a decade.

"They are fighting inside El Fasher town -- heavy fighting," one resident told Agence France Presse by telephone, adding that he could not identify the combatants, although some were in uniform.

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Donors Pledge over $600 Million for South Sudan

International donors pledged more than $600 million dollars in aid to South Sudan Tuesday at a conference in Oslo aimed at averting a famine threatening millions of people. 

"This figure represents nearly a doubling of the funds made available to the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan. It is significant and it will save lives," said Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende at the close of the conference. 

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Health Officials Warn of Epidemic as Balkans Mourn Floods Dead

Serbia declared three days of national mourning Tuesday as the death toll from the worst floods to hit the Balkans in living memory rose to 49 and health officials warned of a possible epidemic.

More than 1.6 million people have been hit as the river Sava and its tributaries have burst their banks, inundating tens of thousands of hectares of farmland and destroying homes and buildings.

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46 Dead, 45 Hurt as Twin Blasts Rock Crowded Nigeria Market

Twin car bombings killed 46 people on Tuesday at a crowded market in the central Nigerian city of Jos, as emergency workers struggled to contain a raging fire, officials said.

"For now, we can authoritatively confirm that 46 people were killed in the blasts while 45 people were seriously injured," said Chris Olakpe, the police commissioner in Plateau state.

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Sexism Rears Ugly Head in Spanish Election Debate

The issue of sexism is dominating the run-in to Spain’s European elections after the country’s conservative candidate said he had underperformed in a televised debate because his rival was a woman.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the candidate for the governing Popular Party (PP), was widely criticized for his performance in last Thursday’s debate against Socialist candidate Elena Valenciano, in which he read many of his arguments from notes.

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Nigeria's Parliament Approves State of Emergency Extension

Nigeria's parliament on Tuesday approved a six-month extension to a state of emergency in three northeast states hit by Islamist militant violence.

Senators unanimously approved the continuation of special powers in Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states in a vote, following a similar backing from the lower chamber House of Representatives last week. 

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Uganda Govt. Tells Opposition to 'Wait until 2056'

The government of Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni, already one of Africa's longest-serving leaders, on Tuesday told the country's opposition that it would have to wait until 2056 before it stood any chance of winning an election.

Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo said the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) "is in for a long journey with Ugandans" under 69-year-old Museveni, who has led the impoverished east African nation since 1986.

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New Airstrikes Target Somalia's Shebab

The African Union force battling Somalia's al-Qaida-linked Shebab rebels said Tuesday it had conducted new air strikes against a rebel base in the south of the country, the second attack in three days.

A statement from Amisom said its planes were after "senior leadership and foreign al-Shebab fighters" at a base near the town of Jilib in Somalia's Middle Juba region.

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