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(Reuters) - A morning rush hour bomb killed at least 71 people at a Nigerian bus station on the outskirts of the capital on Monday, raising concerns about the spread of an Islamist insurgency after the deadliest ever attack on Abuja.

 

President Goodluck Jonathan pointed the finger of suspicion at Boko Haram, although there was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Islamist militants who are active mainly in the northeast. As well as the dead, police said 124 were wounded in the first attack on the federal capital in two years.

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MILAN/LONDON (Reuters) - Israel's drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas.

Israel has in recent months already signed energy deals with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, though relations with the Palestinians are at a low ebb, and now needs to expand its export horizons to cash in on its huge energy discoveries.

 

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MILAN/LONDON (Reuters) - Israel's drive to export its new-found natural gas could help to rebuild strained ties with old regional allies Egypt and Turkey, but could deprive Europe of a precious alternative to Russian gas.

Israel has in recent months already signed energy deals with Jordan and the Palestinian Authority, though relations with the Palestinians are at a low ebb, and now needs to expand its export horizons to cash in on its huge energy discoveries.

 

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Once the plutocrats' plague, kidnapping for ransom in Mexico has gone decidedly mass market.

Shopkeepers and family physicians, carpenters and taxi drivers: All have been targeted in recent years as minions of young criminals enter a trade long run by guerrillas and gangland bosses.

 

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MIAMI (AP) — Democrats in the nation's largest swing-state see the question of whether to legalize medical marijuana as a rare source of hope and high voter turnout in this year's midterm elections.

Party operatives are pushing a constitutional amendment that would make Florida the first state in the South to legalize some pot use. Polls show the measure has widespread public support, and it's particularly popular among young voters — a critical part of the Democratic coalition with historically weak turnout in non-presidential election years.

 

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(Reuters) - Google Inc said it will buy drone-maker Titan Aerospace in an attempt to provide Internet access to more parts of the world, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

Google did not disclose a purchase price for Titan, whose solar-powered drones are intended to fly for years, the paper said. 

 

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Russian fighter jet made multiple, close-range passes near an American warship in the Black Sea for more than 90 minutes Saturday amid escalating tensions in the region, a U.S. military official said Monday.

In the first public account of the incident, the official said the Russian Fencer flew within 1,000 yards of the USS Donald Cook, a Navy destroyer, at about 500 feet above sea level. Ship commanders considered the actions provocative and inconsistent with international agreements, prompting the ship to issue several radio queries and warnings.

 

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BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States is considering supplying arms to Ukraine, where unrest in eastern cities bears the hallmarks of a Russian destabilization drive, an adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday.

Ukraine's president on Monday threatened military action after pro-Russian separatists occupying government buildings in the east ignored an ultimatum to leave and another group of rebels attacked a police headquarters in the troubled region.

 

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(Reuters) - A series of explosions outside Cairo University killed two people on Wednesday, including a police brigadier-general, security officials said, in what appeared to be the latest militant attack in a fast-growing insurgency.

 

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but Islamist militants have carried out many similar operations against security forces since the army ousted President Mohamed Mursi of the Muslim Brotherhood in July after mass protests against him.

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A self-professed jihadist who threatened online to commit a "Fort Hood-inspired" act of terror was weeks away from reporting for basic training when the military learned of his radicalism - which had apparently been on display for months in online posts where he praised Usama bin Laden and pledged to die for radical Islam.

 

The man identified in an FBI-sourced alert as "Booker, also known as Muhammad Abdullah Hassan" appears to be the same person who wrote of his jihadist aspirations, cheered on the murder of American troops in Iraq and praised the Al Qaeda terror boss in posts stretching back months, FoxNews.com has learned.

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An attack at the Interior Ministry compound on Tuesday by a suicide bomber, who wore a military uniform to avoid security checks, was claimed by the Taliban hours after it warned Afghans not to vote in Saturday's presidential ballot

 

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET

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Russia has massed all the forces it needs on Ukraine's border if it were to decide to carry out an “incursion” into the country and it could achieve its objective "in three to five days," NATO's top military commander said on Wednesday.

 

“This is a very large and very capable and very ready force,” said NATO's supreme allied commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, referring to the presence of an estimated 40,000 Russian troops on Ukraine's border.

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Soldiers and extra security forces were on hand in parts of northern Chile Wednesday to prevent looting and to round up hundreds of inmates who escaped after a magnitude-8.2 earthquake struck the region, leaving at least six people dead.

 

The victims died of either heart attacks or being crushed to death, Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — A hard-line Israeli Cabinet minister says convicted spy Jonathan Pollard opposes being freed from a U.S. jail in exchange for Palestinians prisoners.

Uri Ariel says people close to Pollard have told him that he opposes such a "shameful deal."

 

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One month after the Newtown school shootings, the governor of New York state, Andrew Cuomo, signed into law a ban on the sale of assault weapons, hailing it the "nation's toughest".

 

The Safe Act, signed in January 2013, introduced stricter background checks while banning high-capacity magazines and so-called assault weapons like the AR-15-style gun Adam Lanza used to kill 27 people in Newtown in December 2012.

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Rep. Paul Ryan, the chair of the House Budget Committee, on Tuesday introduced the 2015 House Republican budget, the latest iteration of the Ryan-steered budget that aims to balance the budget within 10 years.

 

Here are the key points:

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A British sniper in Afghanistan killed six insurgents with a single bullet after hitting the trigger switch of a suicide bomber whose device then exploded, The Telegraph has learnt.

The 20-year-old marksman, a Lance Corporal in the Coldstream Guards, hit his target from 930 yards (850 metres) away, killing the suicide bomber and five others around him caught in the blast.

 

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(Reuters) - The last words from the cockpit of a missing Malaysian jet were a standard "Good night Malaysian three seven zero", Malaysian authorities said, changing their account of the critical last communication from a more casual "All right, good night".

 

Malaysia on Tuesday released the full transcript of communications between the Boeing 777 and local air traffic control before it dropped from civilian radar in the early hours of March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

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(Reuters) - Iran on Tuesday denied accusations by the Yemeni president of meddling in his country's domestic affairs, urging Sanaa to instead take "serious action" to secure the release of an Iranian diplomat kidnapped last year.

 

Quoted in a newspaper on Monday, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi urged Iran to stop supporting separatists in the south and religious groups in the north of Yemen as the country tries to stabilise following political upheaval that began in 2011.

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U.S. President Barack Obama spoke with Russian President Vladimir Putin Sunday evening, a tense call on which Obama promised further "costs" for a referendum in Crimea the U.S. and international community will never recognize.

The head of the referendum committee said more than 90 percent of Crimeans had voted in favor of annexation by Russia. In its readout of the call, the White House put the word "referendum" in scare quotes, signifying that it didn't respect the alleged result of the referendum it has long considered to be illegitimate and illegal.

The White House also said Obama told Putin to prepare for additional "costs," likely in the form of sanctions that could be handed down this week.

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