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Separatists in Iran kill up to 19, including Guard commander

Iranian state-linked media reported late Friday that up to 19 people, including a commander in the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, were killed in an attack by armed separatists on a police base in the eastern city of Zahedan.

It was not immediately clear if the attack, which unfolded earlier in the day as crowds had gathered at a nearby mosque for Friday prayers, was related to the nationwide antigovernment protests gripping Iran. The reports did not identify the separatist group.

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Putin accuses West of 'explosions' that caused Nord Stream leaks

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday accused the West of organizing blasts that resulted in multiple gas leaks on the Nord Stream gas pipelines from Russia to Europe. 

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Zelensky 'won't negotiate' with Putin, requests accelerated NATO membership

Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that Kyiv is requesting fast-track NATO membership after Russia formally annexed four Moscow-held regions of Ukraine.

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US announces 'severe' sanctions on Russia over annexations

The United States on Friday announced "severe" new sanctions on Russia in response to what President Joe Biden called Moscow's "fraudulent" claim to have annexed four Ukrainian regions.

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Amnesty: Iran ordered forces to 'severely confront' protests

Leaked government documents show that Iran ordered its security forces to "severely confront" antigovernment demonstrations that broke out earlier this month, Amnesty International said Friday.

The London-based rights group said security forces have killed at least 52 people since protests over the death of a woman detained by the morality police began nearly two weeks ago, including by firing live ammunition into crowds and beating protesters with batons.

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Putin signs treaties annexing Ukrainian regions

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed treaties Friday to annex occupied areas of Ukraine and said he would use "all available means" to protect the territory that Ukrainian and Western officials said Russia was claiming illegitimately and in violation of international law.

In a speech preceding the treaty-signing ceremony, Putin urged Ukraine to sit down for talks to end the seven months of fighting that started when he ordered his troops to invade the neighboring country. But he warned that Russia would never give up the absorbed regions and would protect them as part of its sovereign territory.

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Methane blast in Baltic Sea highlights global problem

As serious as the methane escaping from ruptured pipelines on the floor of the Baltic Sea may be, there are alarming incidents of massive methane releases around the world frequently.

Climate scientists have found that methane emissions from the oil and gas industry are far worse than what companies are reporting, despite claims by some major firms that they've reduced their emissions. That matters because natural gas, a fossil fuel widely used to heat homes and provide electricity, is made up of methane, a potent climate warming gas. It escapes into the atmosphere from well sites and across the natural gas distribution network, from pipelines and compressor stations, to the export terminals that liquefy gas to ship it overseas.

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US sanctions traders of Iranian oil as nuclear talks stall

The U.S. has imposed sanctions on a group of firms it says have played a critical role in shipping sanctioned Iranian oil.

The State Department designated two Chinese companies, and Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control hit a network of companies based in Hong Kong, Iran, India and the United Arab Emirates.

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Iran's protesters chant from buildings amid crackdown

Iranian anti-government protesters chanted from windows and rooftops in parts of Tehran early Thursday, but there were no reports of street protests in the country's capital, where authorities have waged a fierce crackdown in recent days.

It was not immediately clear whether that signaled a decline in the nationwide protests over the death earlier this month of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was detained by the morality police for allegedly wearing the mandatory Islamic headscarf too loosely. Her death has triggered an outpouring of anger at the country's ruling clerics.

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Florida city 'devastated' by Hurricane Ian

Monster Hurricane Ian brought a "500-year flood event" to Florida, devastating coastal cities, inundating homes and businesses and leaving island communities cut off, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Thursday.

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