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Death Sentence for Iranian Spiritual Leader an 'Outrage', Says U.N.

The United Nations on Wednesday called for the unconditional release of an Iranian spiritual leader who was sentenced to death at the weekend after being convicted of spreading "corruption on earth".

Mohammed Ali Taheri, who founded a spiritual movement and practiced alternative medicine, was sentenced on Saturday by Iran's Revolutionary Court, according to a statement from the U.N.'s High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein.

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Khartoum Court Frees S.Sudan Pastors over Spying, Crimes against State

A court in Khartoum Wednesday freed two South Sudanese pastors after acquitting them on charges -- including spying and crimes against the state -- that could have seen them face the death penalty.

Yat Michael and Peter Yen were arrested in Khartoum in December 2014 and January 2015 respectively and were facing eight charges.

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Bangladesh Court Orders New Graft Trial for Ex-PM Zia

Bangladesh's high court Wednesday ordered opposition chief Khaleda Zia to stand trial in a graft case dating back to 2007, heaping further pressure on the beleaguered former premier.

The court rejected a petition by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) leader Zia to quash the case, which was filed by a military-backed government, and ordered her to surrender to a trial court within two months.

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Thailand Arrests U.S. Citizen for Smuggling North Koreans

A U.S. citizen working as a Christian missionary in Thailand could face up to five years in jail on charges of smuggling seven North Koreans into the kingdom, police said Wednesday.

Hundreds of North Koreans risk their lives each year to escape poverty and repression in the hardline communist nation.

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Kerry Urges Malaysia to Do More on Human-Trafficking

Secretary of State John Kerry told Malaysia's leader Wednesday his government should do more to stop people-trafficking, a U.S. official said, a week after Washington controversially praised the country's efforts.

The State Department on July 27 raised Malaysia from its lowest Tier 3 ranking on trafficking to the "Tier 2 Watch List", drawing allegations that President Barack Obama's administration was trying to curry favor with Malaysia to gain its support for a regional trade pact.

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'Inhumane' Austrian Refugee Camp Halts Intake

Austria on Wednesday stopped accepting new arrivals at its main refugee camp, where the United Nations has described conditions as "inhumane".

The move comes as a growing number of countries show signs of strain from Europe's burgeoning migrant crisis.

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Turkey Kurdish Leader on Surprise Trip to Brussels

The co-chair of Turkey's main Kurdish party is to make an unscheduled trip to Brussels on Wednesday, his party said, amid reports he will meet representatives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Selahattin Demirtas of the Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) postponed his scheduled program in Ankara Wednesday, a party official told AFP, saying: "He is due to travel to Brussels."

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Five Dead, Three Missing in Southern Philippines Floods

Five people have died and three more are missing as floods hit two southern Philippine cities, forcing about 400 residents to flee their submerged homes, officials said Wednesday.

Swollen rivers burst their banks and unleashed waist-deep floods on shanty towns in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia on Mindanao island this week, provincial civil defense chief Ana Caneda told AFP.

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At Least 16 Killed as Two Buses Collide in Russia

At least 16 people were killed and dozens injured when two buses crashed head-on in Russia's far eastern Khabarovsk region, officials said Wednesday.

The two intercity buses collided on the road between the cities of Khabarovsk and Komsomolsk-on-Amur. 

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Germany Detains Suspected Jihadist who Fled Spain

German police have detained a suspected Islamic State jihadist who fled Spain last month, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

The Moroccan national, who lives in Spain, was detained on Tuesday in Stuttgart in southwestern Germany, the ministry said in a statement.

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