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UK plans to rewrite human rights law; critics cry foul

The British government on Wednesday unveiled plans for a Bill of Rights it says will strengthen free speech and the power of Parliament — but that critics argue will rip up human rights protections for ordinary people.

The government published the bill days after courts in the U.K. and Europe, on human rights grounds, stopped Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative administration deporting people seeking asylum in Britain to Rwanda.

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French paratroopers conduct military drill in Estonia

French armed forces conducted a surprise military exercise in Estonia, deploying more than 100 paratroopers in the Baltic country that neighbors Russia, the French defense ministry said Wednesday.

The airborne operation conducted on Tuesday night and dubbed Thunder Lynx "enabled, at very short notice, the dropping of about 100 paratroopers" from France's 11th Airborne Brigade "over an area secured by Estonian soldiers," the statement said.

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Bulgaria's no-confidence vote could hamper EU expansion

Lawmakers in Bulgaria are set to vote Wednesday on a no-confidence motion against the country's coalition government. If approved, the motion could topple the centrist prime minister and further stall efforts by Balkan countries to join the European Union.

The center-right opposition GERB party filed the motion last week, citing the government's handling of public finances and economic policy in the face of rising inflation.

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War in Ukraine: Latest developments

Here are the latest developments in the war in Ukraine:

- Russia neighbor Lithuania has 'ironclad' support: U.S.  - 

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At least 1,000 killed in Afghan quake as rescuers scramble for survivors

A powerful earthquake struck a remote border region of Afghanistan overnight killing at least 1,000 people and injuring hundreds more, officials said Wednesday, with the toll expected to rise as desperate rescuers dig through collapsed dwellings.

The 5.9 magnitude quake struck hardest in the rugged east, where people already lead hardscrabble lives in a country in the grip of a humanitarian disaster made worse by the Taliban takeover in August.

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Colombian voters elect country's first Black vice president

As Colombia's voters put aside a longtime antipathy to leftists and chose one as their new president, they also carved out another milestone — electing the country's first Black vice president.

When former leftist rebel Gustavo Petro takes office as president on Aug. 7, a key player in his administration will be Francia Marquez, his running mate in Sunday's runoff election.

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UK rail strike strands commuters, pits workers against govt.

Tens of thousands of railway workers walked off the job in Britain on Tuesday, bringing the train network to a crawl in the country's biggest transit strike for three decades.

About 40,000 cleaners, signalers, maintenance workers and station staff were holding a 24-hour strike, with two more planned for Thursday and Saturday. Compounding the pain for commuters, London Underground subway services were also hit by a walkout on Tuesday.

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Despite Western arms, Ukraine is outgunned in the east

Holed up in a bombed-out house in eastern Ukraine, Ukrainian troops keep a careful accounting of their ammunition, using a door as a sort of ledger. Scrawled in chalk on the door are figures for mortar shells, smoke shells, shrapnel shells, flares.

Despite the heavy influx of weapons from the West, Ukrainian forces are outgunned by the Russians in the battle for the eastern Donbas region, where the fighting is largely being carried out by way of artillery exchanges.

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Dozens dead, thousands homeless in Bangladesh, India floods

Villagers in northeastern Bangladesh crowded makeshift refugee centers and scrambled to meet boats arriving with food and fresh water as massive floods, which have killed dozens of people and displaced hundreds of thousands there and in neighboring India, continued to wreak havoc Tuesday.

In Sylhet, one of the worst-hit areas in the extreme northeast of the country near the border with India, villagers waded, swam and paddled makeshift rafts or small skiffs to a boat delivering aid that had moored to one shelter, its ground floor covered half way to the ceiling with water.

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No nukes? Ukraine-Russian war will shape world's arsenals

The headlines on the newsstands in Seoul blared fresh warnings of a possible nuclear test by North Korea.

Out on the sidewalks, 28-year-old office worker Lee Jae Sang already had an opinion about how to respond to North Korea's fast-growing capacity to lob nuclear bombs across borders and oceans.

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