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3 Turkish Troops Killed in Restive Kurdish-Majority Southeast

Masked gunmen on Saturday shot dead three Turkish soldiers in the restive Kurdish-majority southeast of the country, the army said, blaming separatist "terrorists" for an attack that threatens to undermine a fragile ceasefire. 

The three soldiers were shot dead on the street in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province of Turkey's extreme southeast bordering Iraq and Iran.

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Kerry Urges Moscow to Implement Ukraine Peace Deal

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has urged Moscow to fully implement last month's ceasefire agreement on Ukraine, the State Department said in a statement Saturday.

The peace deal reached last month in the Belarussian capital Minsk between Kiev, Moscow and the pro-Russian separatists in east Ukraine includes monitoring and verification by the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) on both sides of the border.

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N. Korea Lashes Out at U.S. over Human Rights 'Racket'

North Korea on Saturday vowed strong action to counter a U.S. attack on its human rights record and issued fresh warnings that the United States was in range of its nuclear weapons.

The threat follows a damning U.N. inquiry into North Korea's human rights record, with the judge who led the investigation urging the world body this week to seek war crimes prosecutions for the regime.

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Report: India Clears Defense Projects Worth $13.1 Billion

India's Hindu nationalist government on Saturday cleared long-delayed projects worth $13.1 billion to modernize the nation's aging Soviet-era military hardware and boost its domestic defense industry, a report said.

The move underscores the desire of the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to update the country's military as it looks to defend itself, especially after recent deadly border clashes with Pakistan and a tense stand-off with Chinese troops.

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Iran Rules Out 'Backward Steps' on Nuclear Program

Iran will not accept any "backward steps" on its nuclear program, specifically on the enrichment of uranium, a top official said Saturday, dismissing U.S. calls for more curbs.

Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi, a member of Iran's nuclear talks team, was responding to comments by the lead U.S. negotiator Wendy Sherman who called on Iran to "finish the job."

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At Least One Dead in Car Bomb Attack in Somali Capital

At least one person was killed and several others wounded on Saturday in a car bombing outside a hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu, officials said.

A Somali police official, General Mohamed Yusuf Madale, told reporters the car bomb went off outside the Golden Hotel shortly after midday, "killing at least one person and injuring another one."

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U.S. Says 'Scaled-Down' Military Drills to Go ahead in Thailand

The United States said Saturday a "scaled-down" version of annual military exercises in Thailand will go ahead next year, after mulling moving the drills outside the kingdom in response to an army coup.

Washington suspended $4.7 million in security-related aid to Thailand, roughly half of its annual assistance to the longtime ally, after the Thai military seized power from an elected government in May.

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S. Korea Activists, Residents Clash over Anti-North Leaflets

Tensions flared Saturday as South Korean activists attempting to launch propaganda leaflets into the North were thwarted by egg-throwing residents of a border town, following threats of retaliation from Pyongyang.

Hundreds of riot police were deployed as the dispute erupted in the town of Paju, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) north of Seoul, when a dozen people with their faces hooded seized an activists' truck carrying balloons and leaflets.

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Brazil Poll Rivals Clash over Corruption Claim

Brazil's presidential candidates clashed over corruption allegations in Friday's final debate, as incumbent Dilma Rousseff rejected a report that she knew about a kickback scheme at state oil giant Petrobras.

The last debate before Sunday's run-off election was heated from the start as the report in conservative newsweekly Veja dominated opening exchanges before the candidates moved on to the economy and political reform.

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5.2 Magnitude Earthquake in Northern Greece

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck northern Greece early Saturday, the country's earthquake observatory said, with no reports of victims or major damage.

The tremor struck at 3:16 am (0016 GMT), with its epicentre 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the northern town of Arta and 249 kilometres northeast of the capital Athens, according to the observatory.

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