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At Least 22 Killed in Fighting in East of C. Africa

Fighting between mainly Muslim ex-rebels and the largely Christian "anti-balaka" militia has killed at least 22 people in eastern Central African Republic, security officials said Thursday.

"At least 22 people have been killed and more than 30 were wounded in clashes that broke out last Monday and Tuesday" in a village outside of the central town of Bambari, a source in the local gendarmerie told Agence France Presse, asking not to be named.

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EU Parliament Pushes Juncker's 'Right' to Be Commission Head

The main political groups in the European Parliament on Thursday backed the "democratic" right of Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next head of the European Commission, in the face of fierce opposition from Britain.

"There is growing support for Juncker at all levels," said Manfred Weber, head of the European People's Party which named the former Luxembourg premier as its candidate for the Commission post ahead of last month's parliament elections.

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Myanmar, Bangladesh Vow Better Border Cooperation after Clash

Myanmar and Bangladeshi authorities Thursday vowed to strengthen border security and combat "illegal armed groups and criminals" following clashes on their shared frontier that Dhaka said left one of its soldiers dead.

The neighbors said they would take measures to avoid a repeat of "untoward" incidents in May, which saw gunfire exchanged between both countries' security forces, the Myanmar Police and Border Guard Bangladesh said in a joint statement.

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British Terror Trial to Be Held Largely in Secret

A major British terror trial can be heard largely in secret, the Court of Appeal ruled Thursday in an unprecedented move, due to fears that the evidence could jeopardize national security.

State prosecutors wanted to hold the trial completely behind closed doors, in what would have been the first ever secret criminal trial in Britain.

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Lavrov: Russia to Submit Ukraine Resolution at U.N.

Russia said on Thursday it would submit a new draft resolution on Ukraine at the U.N. Security Council, saying it saw no progress in Kiev's efforts to defuse the crisis in the separatist east.

"In this resolution we would like to draw attention to the need for Ukraine to start implementing the OSCE chairman's 'road map' prepared on the basis of the April 17 Geneva agreement," Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying.

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Thai Anti-Coup Leader May Face Long Jail Sentence

A prominent anti-coup activist in Thailand faces up to 14 years in prison if convicted of incitement, computer crimes and ignoring a summons by the junta, police said Thursday.

Sombat Boonngamanong, who led a social media campaign to stage peaceful but illegal rallies against the junta, was denied bail Thursday and is set to stand trial in a military court.

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Russia Accuses Ukraine of Using Banned Weapons

Russia accused Ukraine on Thursday of using "prohibited weapons" during its attempts to seize back control of the separatist stronghold city of Slavyansk, charges denied by Kiev.

The Russian foreign ministry's human rights ombudsman's comments came shortly after Moscow state media reported the use of incendiary bombs by Kiev's forces in the blockaded eastern city.

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Bangladeshi Sailors Held by Somali Pirates Home after 4 Years

Seven Bangladeshi sailors, held hostage by Somali pirates for almost four years, finally returned home Thursday, saying it was "unbelievable" to be alive and describing their ordeal as "like hell."

The sailors, who had been held in dire conditions and suffered beatings, flew into the Bangladeshi capital after the foreign ministry said they were freed last week after lengthy negotiations. 

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France to Rule June 26 on Jewish Museum Suspect Extradition

A French court said Thursday it will decide on June 26 whether to extradite to Belgium the man suspected of carrying out a deadly shooting at the Jewish Museum in Brussels last month.

Franco-Algerian Mehdi Nemmouche, 29, who was detained several days after the attack that left four people dead, told the court he was not opposed to his transfer to Belgium as long as he has assurances he will not be sent on to a third country.

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Japan Summons China Envoy over Mid-Air near Miss

Japan on Thursday summoned the Chinese ambassador, as the two sides traded accusations of blame for a near miss involving fighter jets over the East China Sea, the second similar incident in less than a month.

In the latest confrontation in a long-running territorial dispute, Tokyo says two Chinese SU-27 jets flew as close as just 30 meters to its aircraft in a spot where the two countries' air defense zones overlap.

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