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Entire Towns in Australia Inundated by Worst Floods, PM Warns Floods would Worsen

Australia's Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Wednesday warned "unprecedented" flooding would worsen after entire towns were cut off and soldiers airlifted hundreds of people from northeastern towns.

Drenching rains unleashed by a tropical cyclone have left vast tracts of the state of Queensland under water, with 1,000 evacuations and 38 regions declared natural disaster areas.

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11 Killed in Russian Military Plane Crash

A Russian military jet crashed overnight Tuesday in the Tula region south of Moscow, killing 11 people on board, the Interfax news agency reported, citing a law enforcement source.

"According to preliminary data, there were 11 people on board the plane, they were all killed," the source told Interfax.

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Iranian Officer Described as 'Key Taliban Arms Facilitator' Captured in Afghanistan

A member of the elite al-Quds force of Iran's Revolutionary Guard has been captured in southern Afghanistan accused of cross-border weapons smuggling, international forces said Friday.

The man, described as a "key Taliban weapons facilitator", was captured Saturday in Zhari district, Kandahar province, southern Afghanistan, a volatile district targeted in recent coalition operations.

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3 Soldiers, 24 Militants Killed in NW Pakistan Gun Battles

At least three soldiers and 24 militants were killed Friday in gunfights in a northwestern Pakistani tribal area after militants attacked paramilitary checkpoints, officials said.

"About 150 Taliban militants attacked five Frontier Corps checkposts in Baidnami village near the border with Afghanistan," a senior security official told AFP.

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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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