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'Neutral' Swiss plan to boost defense spending in world destabilized by wars

Switzerland's government plans to boost its defense spending by up to 19% over the next four years, citing a rise in global instability, including wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and gaps created when Swiss authorities cashed in on a peace dividend from the fall of the Berlin Wall decades ago.

Laying out mid- and long-range projections for military spending, Defense Minister Viola Amherd, who also holds the rotating Swiss presidency this year, said that as a result of cost-cutting measures over the last 30 years, "the army has been weakened," and it would take time to make up lost ground.

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Iran says saboteurs hit gas pipelines disrupting supply

Two explosions struck gas pipelines in Iran early Wednesday in an act of "terrorism and sabotage" that disputed gas supplies in three of the country's provinces, state media reported.

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UN nuclear watchdog warns Iran is 'not entirely transparent' on atomic program

The head of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog warned Tuesday that Iran is "not entirely transparent" regarding its atomic program, particularly after an official who once led Tehran's program announced the Islamic Republic has all the pieces for a weapon "in our hands."

Speaking at the World Governments Summit in Dubai, just across the Persian Gulf, Rafael Mariano Grossi, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, alluded to remarks made this weekend by Ali Akbar Salehi. Grossi noted "an accumulation of complexities" in the wider Middle East amid Israel's war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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US Senate passes $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan

The Senate early Tuesday passed a $95.3 billion aid package for Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan, pushing ahead after months of difficult negotiations and amid growing political divisions in the Republican Party over the role of the United States abroad.

The vote came after a small group of Republicans opposed to the $60 billion for Ukraine held the Senate floor through the night, using the final hours of debate to argue that the U.S. should focus on its own problems before sending more money overseas. But more than a dozen Republicans voted with almost all Democrats to pass the package 70-29, with supporters arguing that abandoning Ukraine could embolden Russian President Vladimir Putin and threaten national security across the globe.

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Russia puts Estonian PM on wanted list over removal of Soviet-era monuments

Estonia's prime minister has been put on a wanted list in Russia because of her efforts to remove Soviet-era World War II monuments in the Baltic nation, officials said Tuesday as tensions between Russia and the West soar amid the war in Ukraine.

The name of Prime Minister Kaja Kallas appeared on the Russian Interior Ministry's list of people wanted on unspecified criminal charges. While independent Russian news outlet Mediazona first reported Tuesday that Kallas was on the list, it said she has been on it for a while. The list includes scores of officials and lawmakers from other Baltic nations.

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US says has taken possession of Boeing 747 that Iran sold to Venezuelan firm

The U.S. government has seized a Boeing 747 cargo plane that officials say was previously sold by a sanctioned Iranian airline to a state-owned Venezuelan firm in violation of American export control laws.

The Justice Department said Monday that the American-built plane had arrived in Florida and would be disposed of.

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Armenia says 4 killed in border flare-up with Azerbaijan

Armenia and Azerbaijan on Tuesday traded accusations over a border skirmish that left at least four Armenian soldiers dead and escalated tensions between the two Caucasus neighbors.

Armenia's Foreign Ministry denounced what it described as a "provocation" by Azerbaijani troops who fired on Armenian forces across the border in the eastern Syunik region early Tuesday. Four Armenian soldiers were killed and one was wounded, the ministry said. It urged Azerbaijan to refrain from "destabilizing" actions.

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'NATO cannot be an alliance a la carte,' says EU's Borrell

NATO "cannot be an alliance a la carte," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Monday after Donald Trump downplayed his commitment to NATO's security umbrella in Europe if he becomes U.S. president again.

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Kremlin, Musk deny Russian army using Starlink

The Kremlin on Monday rejected Ukraine's claims that Russian troops fighting on the frontline were using Starlink terminals.

Kyiv's GUR military intelligence agency said it had evidence that Starlink internet terminals were being used on a "systematic" basis by Russian troops, accusing Moscow of "smuggling" them into the country.

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Khan supporters, other Pakistani parties block highways to protest election results

Thousands of supporters of Pakistan's imprisoned former Prime Minister Imran Khan and members of other political parties blocked key highways and started a daylong strike in the volatile southwest Monday to protest alleged rigging of last week's elections.

Candidates backed by Khan won more seats than the political parties who ousted him from power nearly two years ago, according to the final tally published Sunday. However, no party won a majority, so the parties will have to hold talks on forming a coalition government. The new parliament chooses the country's next prime minister.

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