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World News

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CNN

The disbanding of the Miners Block, a paramilitary group in the northern province of Antioquia named after nearby gold mines, brought to 16,500 the number of militiamen who had turned in their arms so far, government officials said Friday.

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BBC

China announced a rise in public disturbances in 2005, as rapid economic growth continued to spark social unrest. Amid growing anger at official corruption and several high-profile land disputes between authorities and villagers. China's leaders

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The Australian

IVORY COAST, once one of the wealthiest nations in Africa, was close to its second civil war in five years yesterday as gangs of armed thugs loyal to President Laurent Gbagbo ran amok across the southern half of the country.

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The Guardian

The Brazilian employment ministry said its officials raided 183 farms, the highest number since Swat-style teams were introduced 10 years ago. In total 4,133 workers were freed, with R$7.4m (£1.8m) paid to victims, the ministry said.

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Reuters

A torture victim in the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, a former defense minister and a medical doctor, socialist Michelle Bachelet parlayed her ability to connect with voters into becoming Chile's first woman president.

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BBC News

Shell has withdrawn about 330 workers from four sites in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria following a gunboat attack. Gunmen fought Nigerian soldiers on Sunday as they overran the Benisede pumping station near the port of Warri.

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The Independent

Tony Blair is preparing to scrap a 40-year ban on tapping MPs' telephones, despite fierce Cabinet opposition. Announce to the Commons within weeks that MPs can no longer be sure that the security services and others will not intercept their commu

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Reuters

Somalia's president and parliament speaker agreed to end a rift that has paralyzed the anarchic nation, but a final declaration signed by the leaders did not say where the government would be based. [Who anointed them ruler?]

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Agence France Presse

Russia and Ukraine struck a complex deal to end a bitter gas dispute that has sent a shudder across Europe, where the jolt to supplies has left nations questioning their reliance on Russian supplies.

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CANOE

32 privately operated Venezuelan oilfields returned to state control with the start of the new year, the government said. A deadline expired for all private companies with contracts to independently pump oil to agree to joint ventures that will give

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The London Times

Putin, has moved to consolidate his power by closing down independent sources of opposition and extending state control of the “commanding heights” of the Russian economy, and attempts to impose his will on former Soviet states, such as Ukraine

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Associated Press

Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year old stepsister to salvage his family's "honor" — a crime that shocked Pakistan.

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Daily Telegraph (kudos Jim Peron)

Andrei Illarionov, the economic adviser to President Vladimir Putin who resigned yesterday, was the only Kremlin figure ready to criticise its more draconian policies in public. He often made life uncomfortable for Mr Putin by questioning the Kremlin

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BBC

A Beijing court convicted Tian Fengshan of accepting bribes over eight years while a minister and regional official. China is trying to crack down on corruption, amid fears it could undermine Communist Party rule. Tian escaped the death penalty as h

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