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Investigators: Russia Detains Four over Total Boss Plane Crash

Russia has detained four Moscow airport employees over a plane crash which killed the head of French oil giant Total, whose private jet hit a snowplough on takeoff, investigators said Thursday.

Those detained include the air traffic controller in charge of directing the doomed plane at Vnukovo airport, her supervisor, the head of air traffic controllers and the chief of runway cleaning, Russia's investigative committee said in a statement. 

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New Japan Minister Hit by S&M Bar Scandal

Japan was hit Thursday by a third political scandal in a week after its new industry minister -- whose predecessor resigned in disgrace over misspending  -- admitted that his underlings had spent office cash at a sex bar.

Harvard graduate Yoichi Miyazawa, a former top bureaucrat in the finance ministry, immediately distanced himself from the brewing scandal, saying he wasn't present at the club in the city of Hiroshima.

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Hong Kong Civil Servants Show Support for Democracy Protests

Hong Kong civil servants have taken to Facebook to anonymously voice support for ongoing democracy protests on a public page that points to unease among some of those working at the heart of the city's government.

Bureaucrats from a myriad of departments -- including the government's own information service, the police and the judiciary -- have been posting pictures of their official ID cards with their names redacted alongside slogans critical of their Beijing-backed paymasters.

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Gunmen Kill Eight Shiites on Bus in Southwest Pakistan

Gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying Shiite Muslims in the southwestern city of Quetta on Thursday, killing eight of them, just days ahead of the holy month of Muharram, police said.

The latest sectarian violence happened at a fruit and vegetable market on the outskirts of the city, capital of restive Baluchistan province.

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U.N. in South Sudan Sees Possible Deal but No Peace

The U.N. mission in South Sudan is bracing for ongoing fighting even if a political deal is reached between rival leaders, the new head of mission said Wednesday.

Danish diplomat Elen Loej, who has been leading the U.N. mission in South Sudan for six weeks, told reporters that the 10,500-strong force is redeploying, with greater focus on "hotspots", mostly in the north.

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Woman Charged for Baby Corpses Found in Canada Storage Unit

A woman was charged Wednesday after police discovered six decomposing baby corpses in her storage locker in the western Canadian city of Winnipeg, police said. 

Andrea Giesbrecht, 40, was arrested and charged with concealing the bodies of children and breaching probation. 

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N. Korea Warns South over Planned High-Level Talks

North Korea issued a fresh warning Thursday that planned high-level talks with the South might have to be scrapped because of what it called Seoul's arrogant and provocative behavior.

"Inter-Korean ties are now standing at the crossroads," the North Korean delegation that would participate in the proposed dialogue said in a  lengthy statement carried by the North's official KCNA news agency.

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Official: Mexico Mayor Accused of Ordering Attack on Missing Students

Mexico on Wednesday ordered the arrest of the mayor of the city of Iguala, his wife and an aide, charging they masterminded last month's attack that left six students dead and 43 missing. 

Mexican authorities have searched in vain for any trace of the college students who disappeared on September 26, in a case that has sparked national and international outrage, including mass demonstrations that saw the Iguala city hall torched Wednesday.

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Australia Ramps Up Parliament Security after Ottawa Attack

Australia stepped up security around Parliament House on Thursday and Prime Minister Tony Abbott expressed solidarity with Ottawa after a gunman attempted to storm Canada's legislature.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan said the government would boost  security measures around Canberra's parliament buildings on top of a recent tightening of measures imposed after Australia last month raised its terror alert level from "medium" to "high".

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Rwandan Leader's Allies Seek Vote to Allow him a Third Term

A campaign for Rwandan President Paul Kagame to seek a third term has begun with allies suggesting a constitutional change to allow him to run in 2017.

Kagame, whose Rwandan Patriotic Front or RPF -- a former rebel army that helped end the 1994 genocide and is now the major political party -- was elected in 2003 and 2010 and is therefore ineligible to stand again.

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