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41 dead, millions stranded as floods hit Bangladesh, India

Monsoon storms in Bangladesh and India have killed at least 41 people and unleashed devastating floods that left millions of others stranded, officials said Saturday.

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European Union executive: Make Ukraine a member candidate

The European Union's executive arm on Friday recommended making Ukraine a candidate for EU membership, a morale booster and a first step on what is expected to be a long road for the war-torn country to join the 27-nation bloc.

If Ukrainians were under any illusion that the European Commission's positive assessment would mean fast-track EU membership, their hopes of quickly joining the club were dashed.

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A Chinese invasion of Taiwan: Too costly to countenance?

On Taiwan's tiny Penghu islands, the missile bases that sit next to white-sand beaches and bustling fish markets are a visceral reminder of the constant threat of attack from China.

Despite the huge military discrepancy between the two sides, many analysts believe Taiwan's location, inhospitable terrain and US support mean China would find a full-scale invasion extremely hard -- and possibly too costly to countenance. 

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Alabama church shooting kills 2, wounds 1; suspect held

A single gunman opened fire inside a suburban Alabama church Thursday evening, killing two people and wounding a third at a small group meeting before being taken into custody, authorities said.

The attack occurred at Saint Stephen's Episcopal Church in the Birmingham suburb of Vestavia Hills, said Police Capt. Shane Ware. He said dispatchers got a call at around 6:20 p.m. reporting an active shooter there.

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Why Ukraine's request to join is big test for EU

Ukraine's request to join the European Union may advance Friday with a recommendation from the EU's executive arm that the war-torn country deserves to become a candidate for membership in the 27-nation bloc.

The European Commission's endorsement, while only a tentative step on a path that could take decades to complete, would send a strong symbol of solidarity with Ukraine and further test the EU's united front against Russia amid the invasion of its neighbor.

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Israel praises Argentina grounding plane with Iranian crew

Israel has praised Argentina for holding a Venezuelan plane that included Iranian crew, saying the flight shows Tehran is trying to expand its influence in South America.

Washington also made clear it is keeping close tabs on the investigation into the Boeing 747, which was loaded with automotive parts and raised questions because its 19 crewmembers is an unusually large number for a cargo plane.

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China launches high-tech aircraft carrier in naval milestone

Beijing launched a new-generation aircraft carrier Friday, the first such ship to be both designed and built in China, in a milestone as it seeks to extend the range and power of its navy.

The Type 003 carrier christened Fujian left its drydock at a shipyard outside Shanghai in the morning and tied up at a nearby pier, state media reports said.

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Last campaign push ahead of poll test for France's Macron

French opposition forces and allies of centrist President Emmanuel Macron were Friday to make a final push for votes ahead of the last round of tense parliamentary elections, where the French leader risks losing his overall majority in the face of a challenge from a resurgent left.

Losing a majority in the 577-seat National Assembly lower house in Sunday's vote could be a heavy blow to Macron's reform agenda, just two months after he prevailed against far-right leader Marine Le Pen in presidential elections.

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Angry protests hit India over new short-term military jobs

Violence erupted in parts of India on Thursday with thousands of angry youths setting train coaches and vehicles on fire, blocking highways and attacking police with rocks to protest a new short-term government recruitment policy for the military.

Police used batons and tear gas to disperse the protesters in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan states where they took to the streets and damaged government buildings.

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Thousands march in Bangladesh over comments about Islam

Thousands of people marched in Bangladesh's capital on Thursday to demand the governments of Bangladesh and India officially condemn comments by two Indian governing party officials deemed derogatory to Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

The march began at the country's main Baitul Mukarram Mosque but was blocked by police as it headed toward India's Embassy, a few kilometers (miles) away.

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