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Mexico claims two Gadhafi extraction plots foiled

MEXICO CITY — Mexican prosecutors say they broke up not one, but two Indiana Jones-style plots to "extract" the son of late Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi from Libya as his father's regime crumbled.

Assistant Attorney General Jose Cuitlahuac Salinas says the plan to bring al-Saadi Gadhafi to Mexico involved piles of stolen passports, white-knuckle flights with pilots who refused to land in war-torn Libya and luxury homes bought under false names in Mexico.

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France, Britain join Syria peace push at U.N.

(Reuters) - Arab League monitors said the withdrawal of colleagues by Gulf Arab states would not hinder their work in Syria while France and Britain Wednesday joined efforts at the United Nations to end President Bashar al-Assad's rule.

"The U.N. Security Council must support the Arab League's courageous decisions which are trying to end the repression and violence in Syria and find a solution to the political crisis," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

"Our aim is to get a resolution approved." The Security Council could vote as early as next week on a Western-Arab draft resolution, council diplomats said.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in his State of the Union address that Assad would "soon discover that the forces of change can't be reversed."

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said his country remained opposed to sanctions on Syria and reiterated its opposition to military intervention.

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S. Korea tests guided-missiles in show of force against North

South Korean jets and navy ships fired a barrage of guided-missiles into the ocean during drills Thursday, a display of military power two days after North Korea test-launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile.

The North’s ICBM launch, its most successful missile test to date, has stoked security worries in Washington, Seoul and Tokyo as it showed the country could eventually perfect a reliable nuclear missile capable of reaching anywhere in the United States. Analysts say the missile tested Tuesday could reach Alaska if launched at a normal trajectory.

The live-fire drills off South Korea’s east coast were previously scheduled. In a show of force, South Korea and the United States also staged “deep strike” precision missile firing drills on Wednesday as a warning to the North.

Thursday’s drills were aimed at boosting readiness against possible maritime North Korean aggression. They involved 15 warships including a 3,200-ton-class destroyer, as well as helicopters and fighter jets, South Korea’s navy said in a statement.

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Liberal family values, same-sex marriage a threat to the future of humanity: Pope

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI on Monday warned that liberal family values were threatening the future of humanity, in a veiled reference to homosexual marriage and adoptions by gay couples.

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Islamist suicide bombers kill 11 at military church in Nigeria

KADUNA, Nigeria — Two suicide bombs killed at least 11 people on Sunday at a church in a barracks in northern Nigeria, where the Islamist sect Boko Haram is waging a campaign of violence, the military said.

Army spokesman Bola Koleoso said a bus drove into the side of the St. Andrew Military Protestant Church at the Jaji barracks in Kaduna state and exploded at around 1105 GMT, five minutes after a service had started.

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Israeli, Palestinian negotiators meet in Jordan after 16 months of silence

AMMAN — Israeli and Palestinian negotiators gather in the Jordanian capital on Tuesday for their first face-to-face meeting in 16 months, but both sides insisted full-blown talks remained some way off.

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Burundi: Catholic sect 'clashes with police kill six'

At least six people have been killed and 35 wounded in clashes in northern Burundi between police and a Catholic sect, an official has said.

The violence broke out after police tried to block followers of 30-year-old Zebiya Ngendakumana from praying in Kayanza region, the official added.

N. Korea punishing bad actors

Authorities in North Korea are reportedly punishing citizens - six months of hard labour - who didn't mourn hard enough over the death of "eternal leader" Kim Jong-il.

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Mali media strike over editor Boukary Daou's arrest

Mali's private media have launched a news blackout after an editor was arrested for publishing a letter about poor conditions from soldiers fighting Islamist militants in the north.

Le Republicain editor Boukary Daou was arrested last Wednesday and has yet to be charged.

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