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Japan Minister Attempts to Convince Public on Nuclear

Japan's new industry minister Yuko Obuchi said Sunday the resource-poor nation should be realistic about its energy needs as the government tries to convince a skeptical public on the necessity of nuclear power.

More than three years after the disaster at Fukushima, where a tsunami sent reactors into meltdown, the Japanese public remains unconvinced of the safety of the technology.

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Albania Tightens Security Ahead of Pope Visit

Albania upped security on Saturday as it prepared to host Pope Francis amid warnings that the Islamic State jihadists could be planning an attack on the pontiff in the mainly-Muslim country.

Plainclothes police were out on the streets of the capital Tirana, with some 2,500 officers due to be deployed for the pope's visit on Sunday, his first to a European country.

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Soldier, Three Militants Killed in Northwest Pakistan Clash

A soldier and three militants have been killed in fighting in restive northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border, the military said on Saturday.

The four were killed in an exchange of fire in the Boya area of North Waziristan tribal district, the military said in a statement to the media.

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Nigerian Leader Visits Collapsed Building as Death Toll Hits 86

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Saturday visited the collapsed guesthouse at a mega-church in Lagos, promising to investigate the cause of the tragedy as the death toll hit 86, rescuers said Saturday.

"The president came to the church this morning to see things for himself. He met with Prophet T.B. Joshua and expressed his condolences to the bereaved families," Ibrahim Farinloye of the National Emergency Management Agency told AFP.

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Indonesia Names Four Foreigners as Terror Suspects

Four foreign men detained in Indonesia for allegedly planning to take part in militant training were officially named suspects for breaking counter-terrorism and immigration laws, police said Saturday.

The men, who police believe to be ethnic Uighur from China, are suspected of arranging to meet the country's most wanted militant, Santoso, for training. They were formally arrested on Friday night after a week in custody.

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Taiwan Braces for Tropical Storm Fung-Wong

Taiwan on Saturday readied nearly 50,000 troops in preparation for tropical storm Fung-Wong as it churns toward the island with threats of downpours and powerful winds after claiming five lives in the Philippines.

Three counties in southern Taiwan have decided to close offices and schools from Saturday night while dozens of flights and ferry services were suspended, authorities said.

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N. Korea Threatens Attack if Leaflets are Launched from South

North Korea on Saturday threatened to attack South Korean activists if they launch anti-Pyongyang leaflets across the border while the South hosts the Asian Games.

A group of South Korean activists plans to launch 200,000 leaflets slung from gas-filled balloons into the North from a site near the border on Sunday.

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Khodorkovsky Urges Russians to Pull Together to Challenge Putin

Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a Kremlin opponent who spent a decade in prison, on Saturday launched a movement to bring together pro-European Russians to challenge strongman Vladimir Putin's grip on power.

Once Russia's richest man, Khodorkovsky was released from prison late last year and is now based in Switzerland. He urged his compatriots to pull together to be able to influence the fate of the country.

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Dalai Lama Slams Killings in Name of Religion

The Dalai Lama on Saturday condemned mindless violence in the name of religion, saying the concept of jihad was being misused and misinterpreted by Islamist extremists.

The Nobel Peace prize winner was referring to bloodshed unleashed by the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq where it has overrun swathes of territory.

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NATO Reviews Ties with Russia as New Truce Reached in Ukraine

NATO's top military commanders are meeting in Lithuania on Saturday to discuss relations with Russia as the warring sides in Ukraine agreed to pull back troops under a new peace plan reached overnight in Belarus.

General Knud Bartels, who chairs NATO's Military Committee, said defense chiefs from the 28 nation alliance are set to review "future relationship with Russia and NATO's military posture".

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