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Germany’s ‘Baron Cut-And-Paste’ Quits

Germany's popular defense minister quit Tuesday a week after being stripped of his doctorate for alleged plagiarism, depriving Chancellor Angela Merkel's government of its star performer.

"I give particular thanks to the chancellor for all the support she has given me and her great trust and understanding," Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg told a hastily convened news conference in Berlin.

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Spain Detains Four ETA Suspects and Seizes Explosives

Spanish police arrested four suspected members of an ETA bombing cell in a night raid Tuesday and seized 180 kilograms of explosives, an anti-terrorist source and media said.

Police swooped against armed Basque separatist group ETA in the early hours in Vizcaya, northern Spain, and arrested the four, said an anti-terrorist source who spoke on condition of not being named.

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N. Korea Vows ‘Physical' Response to U.S.-South Korea War Games

North Korea Tuesday threatened a military response to ongoing U.S.-South Korean military drills, blasting them as preparations for a nuclear war of aggression against it.

Seoul and Washington say the annual war games which began Monday are routine and defensive in nature, but Pyongyang calls them a rehearsal for invasion.

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Death Penalty for 11 in India Train Burning Case

An Indian court sentenced 11 Muslims to death Tuesday after finding them guilty of setting a train fire that killed 60 Hindu nationalists nine years ago and triggered one of India's worst outbursts of communal violence.

Judge P.R. Patel last week convicted 31 Muslims of being part of a criminal conspiracy that led to the deaths of 60 people when a Sabarmati Express train coach packed with Hindu pilgrims was set on fire in western Gujarat state in 2002.

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U.S., S. Korea Launch War Games Amid Threats by Pyongyang

U.S. and South Korean troops on Monday launched major annual land, sea and air exercises, amid North Korean threats to turn Seoul into a "sea of flames" in the event of any provocation.

The Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills are the first of their type since the communist state's deadly shelling of a South Korean border island last November.

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17 Killed in Brazil Carnival Accident

Seventeen people were electrocuted during a freak accident at a large pre-Carnival parade, Brazilian police said Monday.

They said fireworks lit by partygoers caused a power line to fall on a tightly packed crowd dancing behind a large sound truck.

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French FM Alliot-Marie Resigns, Sarkozy Reshuffles Cabinet

French President Nicolas Sarkozy named former premier Alain Juppe as his new foreign minister Sunday, after Michele Alliot-Marie, tainted by her ties to the former Tunisian regime, resigned.

Juppe will be replaced as defense minister by Gerard Longuet, the leader of Sarkozy's center right party in the French Senate, the president announced in a brief televised address to the nation.

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North Korea Warns it Would Attack South over Joint Drills with U.S.

North Korea's military threatened Sunday to fire at South Korea, as Seoul prepared to start annual joint drills with U.S. troops — maneuvers Pyongyang says are a rehearsal for an invasion.

The North's military warned that it would shoot directly at South Korean border towns and destroy them if Seoul continued to allow activists to launch propaganda leaflets toward the communist country, Pyongyang's official Korean Central News Agency said. The warning was conveyed to South Korea's military earlier Sunday, it said.

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New Zealand Earthquake Toll Surges to 145 Dead

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key warned the country may be facing its greatest tragedy Saturday as the death toll from this week's earthquake surged to 145, with 200 missing.

Key said Tuesday's tremor, which toppled office buildings and rained debris on busy Christchurch streets, "may be New Zealand’s single most tragic event", outstripping a 1931 quake which killed 256.

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Bomb Kills Nine Civilians in Afghanistan

A roadside bomb killed nine civilians including women and children when it struck the vehicle they were traveling in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, provincial police said.

The civilians were driving into Khost city, capital of Khost province, when the blast hit their van, deputy provincial police chief Mohammad Yaqoub Mandozai told AFP.

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