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Monks, Garment Workers Lead Cambodia Rally on Human Rights Day

Thousands of Cambodians, including Buddhist monks and garment workers, on Wednesday rallied across the capital calling for respect for human rights and the release of a group of jailed land activists.

Campaigners say strongman premier Hun Sen, who has held power for nearly three decades, has backed frequent crackdowns on dissent and presides over a poor human rights record in the impoverished kingdom.

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Muslim Breakaway Group Blamed for Deadly Philippine Bombing

Muslim rebels in the southern Philippines who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group are suspected of carrying out a bus bombing that claimed 10 lives, the military said Wednesday.

A miltary spokesman said the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), a band of a few hundred guerrillas operating on the troubled southern island of Mindanao, are believed to have staged Tuesday's attack, which also left 42 wounded.

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Gorbachev Urges U.S. and EU to 'Defrost Relations' with Russia

The last Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev on Tuesday urged the United States and the European Union to "defrost" relations with Moscow despite tensions over Ukraine.

The 83-year-old said in an article published in state daily Rossiiskaya Gazeta that the Ukraine crisis had led the West not only to impose sanctions on Russia but also to wind up cooperation on global issues from counter-terrorism to climate change and disease epidemics.

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Last French Hostage Arrives Home after 3 Years

France's last remaining hostage, Serge Lazarevic, arrived home Wednesday after three years in the hands of Islamist militants as questions swirled around the terms of his release.

The government has refused to comment on reports that several Al-Qaida prisoners, including those involved in kidnapping Lazarevic in Mali in 2011, were released in exchange for his freedom.

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Philippines Rushes Aid to Displaced Storm Survivors

Philippine authorities and aid agencies rushed relief supplies Wednesday to hundreds of thousands of people displaced by a powerful typhoon, as survivors sifted through debris to rebuild their lives.

Military cargo planes will make eight deliveries to worst-hit Samar, a poor farming island in the central region, while two Red Cross convoys will deliver thousands of food packs, water purifiers, blankets and hygiene kits, officials said.

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U.N. Says Record Numbers Trying and Dying to Reach Europe

More than 3,400 people have died in the Mediterranean this year trying to reach Europe, the U.N. refugee agency said Wednesday, urging governments to take more action to save lives.

More than 207,000 people have made the risky sea crossing since January, almost three times the previous high of 70,000 during the Libyan civil war in 2011, the UNHCR said.

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Lawyer: Tortured 9/11 Mastermind should not Face Death Penalty

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the self-confessed mastermind behind the September 11 attacks, should not have to face the death penalty, his lawyer said Tuesday, following revelations of torture in a scathing U.S. Senate report.

"It's not legal, humane, or fair to execute a person after torturing him," David Nevin told Agence France Presse. 

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Pakistan Air Strikes Kill 11 Militants

Pakistan's military said on Wednesday it had killed 11 militants in air strikes in a troubled tribal district near the Afghan border.

The raids took place Tuesday evening in Tirah area of Khyber district where the Taliban and another banned militant group the Lashkar-e-Islam have taken refuge, the military said in a statement.

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Mugabe's Vice President, Ministers Fired in Zimbabwe Purge

Zimbabwe's vice president, once seen as Robert Mugabe's heir apparent, has been fired along with eight cabinet allies, the government said Tuesday as the veteran leader purged his foes.

As the elderly head of state sought to quell infighting over his successor, the chief secretary to the cabinet, Misheck Sibanda, said in a terse statement that Joice Mujuru had been fired.

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Mysterious Spate of Bombings Hit Ukraine Military Hub

The city of Kharkiv in Ukraine's industrial east has stayed out of rebel hands but a mysterious spate of bombings have triggered fears that Russia is trying to destabilize this key defense hub. 

Barely a week goes by without another bombing reported against Ukrainian military targets in the city of 1.4 million that once served as Ukraine's capital. 

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