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Afghan Civilian Casualties Soar to Record High, U.N. Says

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan soared to a record high in the first half of 2016, the UN said Monday, with children in particular paying a heavy price as insurgents step up fighting and insecurity grows.

The UN report, which comes two days after the deadliest attack in Kabul since 2001, cited ground combat between militants and NATO-backed Afghan forces as the leading cause of casualties.

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Philippines' ex-Leader Arroyo: 'I was Persecuted'

Former Philippine president Gloria Arroyo has declared herself a victim of political persecution, following her release from nearly five years in detention over a corruption case.

In her first public comments since being freed from a military hospital on Thursday after the Supreme Court dismissed plunder charges against her, Arroyo insisted her detention was "unjust".

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Obama Aide Visits China after South China Sea Ruling

U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice is in Beijing for talks with Chinese officials in the highest-level visit by a White House official since an international tribunal issued a ruling that invalidated China's expansive claims to the South China Sea, a move that was set to fuel tensions.

The tribunal's July 12 ruling, which angered China, was not raised in opening remarks Monday in front of the media at Rice's meeting on Monday with the country's top diplomat, State Councilor Yang Jiechi.

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Eight Dead, 20 Missing in Malaysia Boat Accident

Malaysia's coast guard said Monday they had retrieved eight bodies after a boat capsized off the southern state of Johor at the weekend with another 20 people believed to be missing.

Local media reported that the boat carrying 62 people -- all Indonesians and thought to be illegal immigrants -- capsized due to strong waves late on Saturday night.

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Policewoman Claims Ministry Pressured Her on Nice Attack

A fresh crisis hit France's government Sunday when a senior policewoman claimed the interior ministry pressured her to alter a report into security at the Nice fireworks display where 84 were killed when a man rammed a lorry into the crowd.

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve -- whose account of police deployments on the night of July 14 celebrations has already faced questions -- has been the lightning rod for criticism over alleged security failures.

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Training Exercise Causes Bomb Scare at U.S. Embassy in Myanmar

The United States Embassy in Myanmar held a tear gas training exercise on Sunday night that sparked rumors of an explosion and brought emergency services to the scene, a police officer said.

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Trump Says Terror-Hit French May Face More Screening in U.S.

Republican White House nominee Donald Trump has said that France and other nations hit by recent terror attacks would be subjected to "extreme" immigration checks if he is elected president.

Trump was asked in an interview airing Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press" to expand on his proposal to suspend immigration from what he calls countries "compromised by terrorism" until vetting mechanisms are in place.

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Obama Decries Trump's 'Lack of Preparedness'

President Barack Obama questioned Republican nominee Donald Trump's readiness to be commander-in-chief, in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Weighing in on Trump's suggestions that the U.S. might not meet its mutual defense obligations in NATO, Obama told CBS it highlighted a "lack of preparedness that he has been displaying when it comes to foreign policy."

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One Dead, Two Injured in Germany Machete Attack

A 21-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker killed a woman and injured two people with a machete Sunday in the southwest German city of Reutlingen in an incident local police said did not bear the hallmarks of a "terrorist attack."

"At this stage of the inquiry we have nothing to indicate this was a terrorist attack," police said following the attack around 4:30 pm (1430 GMT) near the bus station of the city of some 100,000 near Stuttgart.

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Amnesty Says Turkey Coup Detainees Being Tortured

Human rights group Amnesty International said Sunday it had "credible evidence" of the abuse and torture of people detained in sweeping arrests since Turkey's July 15 coup.

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