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Putin sure of his victory in presidential vote

MOSCOW:  The Prime Minister, Mr Vladimir Putin has voiced confidence that he will win Sunday's presidential election, while bluntly dismissing opposition demands and maintaining his strong criticism of the United States.

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French President holes up in bar to escape protesters

BAYONNE (FRANCE): The French President, Mr Nicolas Sarkozy took refuge from a crowd of several hundred angry protesters in a cafe, as riot police swarmed in to protect him while he campaigned in the country's southwest Basque country.

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Protests delay opening of Maldives Parliament

MALE: Fresh violence erupted in Maldives including inside the Parliament that was scheduled to open today with supporters of the former president, Mr Mohammed Nasheed attacking the police and preventing the President, Mr Mohammed Waheed Hassan from making his opening address.

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Passengers leave disabled ship in Seychelles port

VICTORIA, SEYCHELLES: Hot and tired passengers disembarking from a disabled cruise ship that docked Thursday in the Seychelles after three days at sea without power described difficult conditions and a scary time after fire broke out in the engine room and those aboard prepared to get into life boats.

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Red Corner Notice against Musharraf

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani authorities have sent a formal request to Interpol to issue a Red Corner Notice for former military ruler Pervez Musharraf, currently living outside the country in self-exile.

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Israel unveils sophisticated bomb shelters in Tel Aviv

TEL AVIV: Underneath the plaza outside Israel’s Habima national theatre, Israel has put the finishing touches on a new gathering place that it hopes will never host a crowd, the country’s most advanced public underground bomb shelter.

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At least eleven killed as tornadoes strike US Midwest

HARRISBURG, ILLINOIS: Powerful storms that spawned tornadoes ripped through the US Midwest on Wednesday, killing at least 11 people, including six in Illinois who were crushed when a house was lifted up and fell on them, authorities said.

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Syria storms out of UN Human Rights Council meeting

GENEVA: The Syria’s ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva, Mr Faysal Khabbaz Hamoui stormed out of the UN Human Rights Council after demanding angrily that countries stop "inciting sectarianism and providing arms" to opposition forces in his country.

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Mitt Romney wins key primaries in Arizona, Michigan

WASHINGTON: Conso-lidating his front-runner status, Mr Mitt Romney has won two crucial Republican primaries against Mr Rick Santorum in Arizona and Michigan ahead of the March 6 'Super Tuesday' contests in the keenly-fought US Presidential nomination race within the party.

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