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Beijing Says Will Not Use Force in South China Sea

China said Tuesday it would not resort to the use of force in the tense South China Sea, after its neighbors expressed concern about its more assertive maritime posture.

"We will not resort to the use of force or the threat of force," foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei told reporters.

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Iran Says Britain, U.S. Meddling in its Affairs

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday accused Britain and the United States of "interfering" in the internal affairs of Islamic republic.

"It is surprising to witness British and American officials make remarks that clearly interfere in our country's internal affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in his weekly briefing.

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Karzai Heads to Kazakhstan for Regional Summit

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left Kabul on Tuesday for Kazakhstan to deliver a speech at a summit of Central Asian nations and hold talks with other regional powers, his office said.

He will present the views of Afghanistan on "regional cooperation, the war against terrorism, counter-narcotics and economic cooperation", it said in a statement.

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One Dead in Islamabad Bank Suicide Attack

A bomber blew himself up in an Islamabad bank on Monday, killing a security guard in the first suicide attack in the Pakistani capital for nearly two years.

The attack comes with Pakistan on edge weeks after U.S. Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden in the garrison city of Abbottabad, two hours' drive from Islamabad, in a case that humiliated the seemingly all-powerful military.

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U.S. Intercepted N. Korea Ship over Arms Fears

The U.S. Navy intercepted a North Korean ship suspected of carrying missiles or other weapons to Myanmar and made it turn back, a senior U.S. official said Monday.

The comments by Gary Samore, special assistant to President Barack Obama on weapons of mass destruction, confirmed reports of the incident, which happened last month, in The New York Times and South Korean media.

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Vietnam Begins Live-Fire Drill amid Tensions with China

Vietnam on Monday began live-fire naval drills in the tense South China Sea, a move that analysts see as raising the risk of a "showdown" with Beijing over a deepening territorial rift.

A long-standing dispute between the communist neighbors over sovereignty of two potentially oil-rich archipelagos has erupted again following recent sea confrontations that have sunk relations to their lowest point in years.

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New Strong Quakes Hit New Zealand’s Stricken City

A series of strong quakes, including a 6.0-magnitude tremor, rocked New Zealand's stricken Christchurch Monday, causing one building to collapse and prompting evacuations.

Power company Orion said electricity had been cut to 54,000 homes. The U.S. Geological Survey measured the latest quake at a depth of nine kilometers and some 14 kilometers from the country's second largest city.

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Turkey's Ruling Party in Landslide Poll Win

Turkey's ruling Islamist-rooted party clinched a record landslide in Sunday's parliamentary polls but appeared short of the two-thirds majority it needs to rewrite the constitution, unofficial results showed.

With more than 95 percent of the vote counted, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's Justice and Development Party (AKP) was leading with 50.3 percent of the vote for a third straight win, according to results on CNN Turk television.

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Chile’s Volcano Ash Grounds Australia, New Zealand Flights

Ash from Chile's volcanic eruptions prompted Australian airlines to ground some domestic services and flights to New Zealand Sunday, stranding thousands of people after plumes drifted across the Pacific.

Strong winds have carried the ash clouds some 9,400 kilometers (5,800 miles) across the Pacific Ocean to New Zealand since Chile's Puyehue volcano erupted more than a week ago, and they are now entering Australian airspace.

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Fresh Blast at Ikea Store in Germany

An explosive device went off in an Ikea furniture store in the East German city of Dresden late Friday, slightly injuring one person, a police spokesman told Agence France Presse Saturday.

At the end of May several small booby-trapped packages exploded in Ikea stores in France, Belgium and The Netherlands, with no claim of responsibility.

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