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Alert in Rome after Blasts in Swiss, Chilean Embassies

Parcel bomb blasts in the Chilean and Swiss embassies in Rome injured two staffers on Thursday, officials said, as Italian prosecutors opened an inquiry for a suspected "attack with terrorist aims."

Checks are currently under way in all the embassies in Rome after the blasts and the city's mayor said emergency services were on alert.

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South Korea Holds Massive New Drills

South Korean tanks fired artillery and fighter jets zoomed by to drop bombs Thursday in the military's largest air-and-ground firing drills of the year — a show of force a month after a deadly North Korean artillery attack.

The drills, at training grounds in mountainous Pocheon about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the Koreas' heavily fortified border, signaled South Korea's determination to demonstrate and hone its military strength at the risk of further escalation with North Korea.

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Afghan Policeman Killed in Suicide Attack in Kunduz

A suicide bomber killed an Afghan policeman and wounded five civilians in Kunduz on Thursday, the second deadly attack on government security forces in the northern city this week.

The attacker walked up to a checkpoint in a crowded area of the city center and blew up a suicide vest strapped to his body, officials and witnesses said.

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Zain Can Open Books to Etisalat

A Kuwaiti court ruled on Wednesday that Kuwait-based Zain telecom can open its books for due diligence to the Emirati firm Etisalat which has offered to buy a majority stake in Zain.

Al-Fawares Holding, a leading private investor in Zain, had filed a lawsuit against opening the books, on the grounds that it had not seen an official purchase offer from Etisalat.

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Federer Beats Nadal in Charity 'Match for Africa'

Roger Federer took the upper hand against Rafael Nadal on Tuesday with a two set to one win in a charity exhibition match in the Swiss city of Zurich.

After losing the first set 4-6, Federer broke back against the world number one early in the second set to take a 6-3, 6-3 lead, watched by a capacity home crowd including Formula One champion Sebastian Vettel, ski-ing champions Lindsey Vonn and Didier Cuche.

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Reports: Qaida Group Considers Poisoning U.S. Food

The same al-Qaida-linked group that attempted to send bombs on cargo planes earlier this year considered putting poison in food served at U.S. hotels and restaurants, U.S. media reported.

U.S. intelligence officials told CNN on Tuesday that the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) were considering poisoning food supplies with the deadly chemicals ricin and cyanide.

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Facebook CEO Meets with Sina During China Holiday

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg -- on holiday in China where his social networking site is officially blocked -- met Wednesday with top executives from the country's popular web portal

Zuckerberg's meeting with chief executive Charles Chao and vice president Peng Shaobin comes two days after the 26-year-old had lunch with the head of search engine giant Baidu to discuss the world's biggest web market.

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Report: Foreign Troop Deaths in Afghanistan Top 700 in 2010

The number of international troops killed in Afghanistan this year, already by far the deadliest in the nine-year campaign against the Taliban, has passed 700, an independent website said Tuesday.

The number of coalition forces killed fighting the Taliban in 2010 stood at 701, said, days after U.S. President Barack Obama said the war strategy was "on track."

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South Korea Stages Mass Evacuation Drill Amid Tension with North

South Koreans stopped their cars, donned gas masks and ducked into underground shelters Wednesday in the country's biggest-ever evacuation drill — a government attempt to prepare traditionally indifferent citizens for possible new attacks by North Korea.

Fears of war on the divided Korean peninsula have intensified since the rivals fired artillery shells at each other last month across their tense western sea border. Four South Koreans on a front-line island were killed; the North's casualties are unknown.

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10 Filipino Soldiers Killed in Rebel Ambush

Communist rebels waging a decades-long insurgency in the Philippines killed 10 soldiers as the troops were returning to camp to observe a Christmas truce, the military said Wednesday.

Tuesday's attack by the New People's Army (NPA) on the central island of Samar came 48 hours before an 18-day ceasefire was to take effect, and as the opposing sides were preparing for a resumption of peace talks in February.

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