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Paris Says Russia Sanctions May be Lifted if It Meets Ukraine Commitments

Sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukraine crisis could be lifted if Moscow fulfills commitments it made to help resolve the conflict, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday.

"We hope that sanctions against Russia may be lifted, but it must fulfill its part of the contract... which it signed in the context of the Minsk accords," he said.

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Kerry, Lavrov Speak by Phone about Russia Plane Shootdown

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke by phone with Russia's foreign minister and urged a de-escalation of tensions after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Turkey-Syria border, U.S. officials said Wednesday.

In his call with Sergei Lavrov, the secretary offered his condolences for the loss of life in the downing, the State Department said in a brief statement.

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Canada Says Reviewing Military Role in Anti-IS Fight

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was reviewing its role in the fight against Islamic State jihadists, during a visit to London Wednesday in which he also bantered with Queen Elizabeth II.

Trudeau has committed to withdrawing Ottawa's six warplanes out of Iraq and Syria following his appointment as Canada's first Liberal prime minister in almost a decade earlier this month.

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Obama Says 'Every Possible Step' Being Taken to Keep U.S. Safe

U.S. President Barack Obama assured Americans Wednesday that "every possible step" is being taken to keep the country safe as it heads into the Thanksgiving holiday.

With memories of the deadly terror attacks in Paris still fresh, the president urged vigilance but said there was "no specific threat" to the U.S. homeland.

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Seven Massacred by Gunmen in Honduran Capital

Seven people were murdered Wednesday in Tegucigalpa by half a dozen gunmen in the second massacre in as many days in Honduras, a Central American country gripped by gang violence, police said.

Six men and a woman, all aged between 18 and 36, were brought from three separate houses to the location in the southwest of the city where they were shot to death, police spokesman Leonel Sauceda told reporters.

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Hollande Makes IS Fight Plea to Merkel

French President Francois Hollande, just off the plane from Washington, was to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday, seeking support for his faltering effort to forge a coalition to fight Islamic State jihadists.

Hollande is expected to look to Merkel to try to ease tensions between Russia and Turkey -- two potential components of the anti-IS alliance -- which fell out over the downing of a Russian warplane at the Turkish-Syrian border.

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Rescued Russian Pilot Says No Warning before Jet Downed as Moscow Slams 'Provocation'

Russia on Wednesday accused Turkey of a "planned provocation" over the downing of a warplane on the Syrian border as a rescued pilot claimed that no warning had been given.

As the diplomatic fallout from Tuesday's incident raged on, Ankara sought to play down tensions and its allies in NATO issued urgent appeals for restraint.

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U.S. Probe: MSF Hospital Strike 'Caused Primarily by Human Error'

A deadly air strike on a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital was "caused primarily by human error," the U.S. commander in Afghanistan said Wednesday, promising disciplinary action as he detailed a U.S. investigation into the catastrophic attack.

The October 3 air raid on the French charity's hospital during a Taliban offensive in the northern city of Kunduz killed at least 30 people, sparked an avalanche of global condemnation and forced the facility to close.

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Hollande Calls for Display of French Flags on Day of Mourning

President Francois Hollande on Wednesday called on French citizens to deck their homes with the national flag during a day of mourning later this week for victims of the Paris attacks.

Friday will be a day of homage to the 130 people killed by jihadists in the November 13 assaults, and the president urged citizens "to participate by decorating their homes with the blue, white and red flag," government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said.

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U.N. Says Cyprus Leaders Progressing toward Peace in 'Near Future'

Rival Cypriot leaders are making progress in United Nations-brokered peace talks aimed at reunifying the long-divided island "in the near future," U.N. envoy Espen Barth Eide said Wednesday.

Greek Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot counterpart Mustafa Akinci met Wednesday, wrapping up six face-to-face meetings in November as part of an intensified process.

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