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London Olympics mascots: menacing or magic?

Posted: 07/23/2012 - The official mascots of London's Olympic and Paralympic Games have been called strange and frightening, but organizers are hoping to tack on a more positive title: merchandising magic.

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82 killed in Iraq's deadliest day this year

Updated: 07/23/2012 - An onslaught of bombings and shootings killed 82 people across Iraq on Monday, officials said, in the nation's deadliest day so far this year.

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Syrian troops seize Damascus neighborhood

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Syrian troops and tanks on Friday drove rebels from a Damascus neighborhood where some of the heaviest of this week's fighting in the capital left cars gutted and fighters' bodies in the streets.

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Russian envoy to France: Assad ready to step down

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Russia's ambassador to France said Friday that he believes Syria's president is ready to step down "in a civilized way." But the Syrian government immediately denied it.

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Burials held for slain Israelis of Bulgaria attack

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Israeli and American officials have blamed the Iran-backed Lebanese militant group Hezbollah for the bombing, and authorities in several other countries were trying to confirm the identity of the suicide bomber.

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Eurozone OKs terms of bailout for Spanish banks

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Finance ministers from the 17 countries that use the euro unanimously approved Friday the terms for a bailout loan for Spanish banks of up to €100 billion ($122.9 billion).

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Ai loses tax challenge, says truth 'not respected'

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Artist Ai Weiwei believes a tax evasion case was meant to intimidate him, but losing his challenge to the $2.4 million fine Friday did not silence his criticism of China's government.

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Olympic buzz takes off: London welcomes the flame

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Royal Marine Martyn Williams is poised to rappel from a helicopter carrying the Olympic torch on Friday night, dropping down within the stone walls of the Tower of London.

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Anti-Putin feminist punks on trial in Moscow

Posted: 07/20/2012 - The trial of feminist punk rockers who chanted a "punk prayer" against President Vladimir Putin from a pulpit inside Russia's largest cathedral started in Moscow on Friday

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North Korea speculation rampant in Seoul

Posted: 07/20/2012 - Almost as soon as North Korea announced this week that its army chief had been dismissed due to "illness," the aggressive South Korean media went into hyperdrive.

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Muslim cleric shot dead in Russia's Tatarstan

Posted: 07/19/2012 - Valiulla Yakupov, the deputy to the Muslim province's chief mufti, was gunned down Thursday as he left his house in Tatarstan's regional capital of Kazan, Russia's Investigative Committee said.

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Syrian regime forces strike back after bombing

Posted: 07/19/2012 - Syrian forces struck back against rebels Thursday with attack helicopters and shelling in Damascus, one day after an audacious rebel attack in the capital killed three leaders of the regime

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Bulgaria says Israelis killed by suicide attacker

Posted: 07/19/2012 - A lanky, long-haired man wearing a baseball cap and plaid shorts with a fake Michigan driver's license carried out a deadly suicide attack on a bus full of Israeli vacationers, Bulgarian officials said Thursday.

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Famine anniversary: Somalis dying on food walks

Posted: 07/19/2012 - The long, dusty walks from hungry homes to far-away refugee camps are again claiming lives in Somalia one year after an estimated 100,000 people died in the country's worst famine in generations.

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London's Olympic summer has a Shakespearean flavor

Posted: 07/19/2012 - Anyone who doubts that accolade for the playwright dead almost 400 years might want to go to the new "Shakespeare: Staging the World" exhibition at the British Museum.

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China's online population rises to 538 million

Posted: 07/19/2012 - China's population of Internet users, already the world's biggest, has risen to 538 million, driven by rapid growth in wireless Web surfing, an industry group said Thursday.

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Myanmar TV broadcasts independence hero ceremony

Posted: 07/19/2012 - Myanmar state television broadcast a memorial ceremony for opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi's revered independence hero father for the first time in decades Thursday

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Lebanon indicts dozens from 2007 clashes

Posted: 07/19/2012 - Lebanese judicial officials say an investigative judge has indicted 88 people allegedly involved in 2007 fighting against the army in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon

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Syria uprising puts Hezbollah on defensive

Posted: 07/19/2012 - The growing popularity among some Sunnis of the previously little known local cleric is a sign of how vulnerable Hezbollah has become as it faces the possibility of the downfall of its crucial ally, President Bashar Assad

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