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Six Killed in S. Korea Storage Tank Explosion

Six South Korean workers were killed Friday when a waste water storage tank exploded at a chemical plant in the industrial city of Ulsan, a fire official said.

The blast occurred when the workers were carrying out welding work on the tank at the Hanwha Chemical Co. plant, which produces polyvinyl chloride, an Ulsan fire station spokesman told Agence France Presse.

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Thai Forces Shoot Dead Seven Drug Suspects

Thai forces have shot dead seven suspected drug smugglers and seized six bags of heroin after a firefight near the Myanmar border, an official said, in the latest clash over narcotics in the remote region.

Heroin and methamphetamine pills are frequently smuggled from Myanmar into Thailand, the gateway to the lucrative Southeast Asian drugs market.

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Death Toll from Pakistan Train Accident Rises to 17

The death toll from a Pakistan rail accident has risen to 17, the army said Friday, the day after a special military train fell into a canal when a bridge partially collapsed.

A senior officer was among those killed when four of the train's carriages carrying troops and military equipment derailed and fell from Chanawan Bridge in the eastern province of Punjab.

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Japan Frustrated over Slow Pace of N. Korea Abduction Probe

Tokyo voiced its frustration on Friday a year after North Korea said it had started re-investigating the fate of Japanese kidnapped by Pyongyang's spies decades ago, with no new leads in sight.

"It is extremely regrettable that no abduction victims returned home although it's been a year since the investigation started," Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said during a parliamentary session. 

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USGS: 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake in China's Xinjiang

A shallow 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck China's far western region of Xinjiang on Friday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, with at least three people killed according to Chinese officials.

The epicenter was in Pishan county, 164 kilometers (102 miles) northwest of the city of Hotan and 131 kilometers southeast of Shache, known as Yarkand in Uighur, the language of the local mainly Muslim minority.

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Two Journalists Killed in Mexico, Blast Rocks Human Rights Commission

A journalist was shot dead as he left his radio station in southern Mexico on Thursday while a second reporter was murdered in an eastern state, officials said.

Filadelfo Sanchez Sarmiento was heading out following his morning radio show at the La Favorita 103.3 FM station when two men gunned him down in Miahuatlan, southern Oaxaca state, prosecutors said.

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Two Blasts Hit Colombian Capital, 10 Hurt

At least 10 people were hurt when two minor blasts rattled the Colombian capital Bogota on Thursday, officials said, putting authorities on alert amid an uptick in violence.

The first blast hit in the financial heart of Bogota at about 3:45 pm (2045 GMT), the fire department said on Twitter, reporting a second explosion moments later at an industrial area.

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Iran Nuclear Deal in Sight, Says Top Russian Negotiator

World powers and Tehran are close to a deal on curbing Iran's nuclear ambitions and the marathon negotiations look set to be successfully concluded "in the coming days," Russia's top negotiator said Thursday.

"I can't predict how many hours it will take to resolve this situation. But all parties are of the opinion that this matter will be resolved in the coming days," negotiator Sergei Ryabkov told the Russian TASS news agency.

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Malaysia Moves Ahead with Proposed U.N. Tribunal for MH17 Culprits

Malaysia told the Security Council on Thursday that it plans to present a draft resolution soon on creating a U.N. tribunal to try those responsible for the downing of a Malaysia Airlines flight over Ukraine.

All 298 passengers and crew on board flight MH17 -- the majority of them Dutch -- died when the plane was shot down on July 17 last year.

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Democratic ex-Senator Webb Enters U.S. Presidential Race

Former U.S. senator Jim Webb of Virginia, a Vietnam war veteran who served as secretary of the navy, announced Thursday he is running for president, challenging frontrunner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination.

"After many months of thought, deliberation and discussion, I have decided to seek the office of the presidency of the United States," Webb said in a Facebook post.

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