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Lithuanian Honorary Consul 'Brutally Killed' in East Ukraine

Lithuania's Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius said Friday that the country's honorary consul in eastern Ukraine's Lugansk has been kidnapped and killed by the pro-Russian rebels there.

"With deep sorrow just learned about Lithuania's honorary consul in Lugansk Mr. Mykola Zelenec kidnapped and brutally killed by terrorists there," Linkevicius, who is on a visit to Kiev, wrote on his Twitter blog.

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Pentagon Says Chinese Warplane Made 'Dangerous' Pass at U.S. Aircraft

A Chinese fighter jet flew perilously close to a U.S. military aircraft this week in a "very dangerous" incident in international air space east of Hainan Island, the Pentagon said Friday.

The episode raised tensions and underlined the growing rivalry between the United States and China, with Beijing building up its military and asserting its territorial claims across the Pacific.  

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Netherlands Says 173 MH17 Crash Victims Identified

Forensic experts have identified 46 additional victims of the downed MH17 flight, bringing to 173 the total number of passengers killed whose identity has been verified, the Dutch justice ministry said Friday.

"Among the 46 victims, 26 were of Dutch nationality," the ministry said in a statement.

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Experts: Boko Haram Sees Huge Advances but Can be Checked

Boko Haram may be closer than ever to achieving its goal of creating a caliphate in northern Nigeria but comparisons to the Iraq crisis are premature and the military can reverse the group's gains, analysts say.

The conflict in the Islamists' northeastern stronghold remains in flux even as witnesses, security sources and experts report that the insurgents have seized several areas and towns since April.

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Central Africa PM Unveils New Government

The Central African Republic unveiled its new government on Friday, a broad coalition including representatives from rival armed groups, after fresh fighting between warring militias killed at least eight.

Prime Minister Mahamat Kamoun, who was appointed earlier this month, has been tasked with bringing rebel groups back into the mainstream to try to end the ethnic and religious violence gripping the country.

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Tropical Storm Marie Forms in Pacific Off Mexico

Tropical Storm Marie has formed in the eastern Pacific and is expected to become a hurricane this weekend that will stalk the Mexican coast, U.S. forecasters warned Friday.

Packing maximum sustained winds of 50 miles (85 km) per hour, the weather system was "strengthening steadily" and predicted to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents along Mexico's coast over the coming days.

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Number Missing in Mexico Jumps to 22,000

The number of people missing in Mexico has jumped from 16,000 in June to more than 22,000, the government says, blaming a technicality for the surge.

It is not the first time Mexican authorities have given widely conflicting figures. In May, Amnesty International asked the government to explain how it came up with a drastically lower number of people missing nationwide after the figure was slashed from 26,000 to 8,000.

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One Dead in Swiss Mosque Shooting

One person was killed Friday in a shooting in the prayer hall of a Swiss mosque, police said.

The suspected killer was arrested at the scene in the northeastern city of St. Gallen, local police told Agence France Presse, without giving further details about the individual.

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Iran FM due in Moscow ahead amid Nuclear Talks

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit ally Moscow next week, the Islamic republic's ambassador to Russia wrote on Facebook Friday, media reports said.

Mehdi Sanaei said that Zarif will travel on August 29 to meet his counterpart Sergei Lavrov, saying only that their talks would focus on bilateral, regional and international issues.

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U.S. Poll Shows Racial Divisions amid Ferguson Unrest

Black and white Americans have sharply divided opinions over the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer and the consequent protests, a poll showed Friday.

Brown's killing on August 9 in the town of Ferguson, Missouri, sparked nearly two weeks of protests that only now appear to be dissipating, although more demonstrations are expected to take place over the weekend.

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