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Top US and Chinese diplomats agree to build on recent progress in ties

The top U.S. and Chinese diplomats agreed Wednesday to keep building on recent progress in bilateral ties and work together to keep the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza from spreading.

Both Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken referred in a telephone call to last month's closely watched meeting between the two countries' leaders in San Francisco following years of frigid ties.

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Erdogan tends to strained relationship with EU with 'win-win' trip to neighbor Greece

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will fly to Greece on Thursday on a visit designed to set the historically uneasy neighbors on a more constructive path.

Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will oversee joint Cabinet talks and trade consultations. A series of cooperation deals will be signed as part of a so-called "positive agenda," aimed at bypassing long-standing and often volatile disputes.

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Iran sends capsule with animals into orbit as it prepares for human missions

Iran said Wednesday it sent a capsule into orbit carrying animals as it prepares for human missions in coming years.

A report by the official IRNA news agency quoted Telecommunications Minister Isa Zarepour as saying the capsule was launched 130 kilometers (80 miles) into orbit.

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Russia attacks Ukraine with 48 drones overnight

Kyiv said Wednesday that Moscow had launched dozens of Iranian-designed attack drones towards Ukraine overnight from southern Russia and the annexed Crimean peninsula, in its latest aerial barrage.

"A total of 48 Shahed-136/131 strike UAVs were launched," the Ukrainian air force said in a statement, adding that defensive systems had downed 41 of the unmanned aerial vehicles.

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Russian shelling kills at least 2 in Kherson

Russian artillery struck the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson on Tuesday morning, local officials said, killing at least two people in the street, as the 21-month war drags into another winter.

Regional Gov. Oleksandr Prokudin posted a video of the attack's aftermath, showing two bodies in a city center street and blood near holes in the road caused by the shelling.

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Venezuela territorial claim on Guyana backed by 95% of voters

An "overwhelming" 95 percent of Venezuelan voters have approved of the country's territorial claim on a huge chunk of neighboring Guyana, according to an initial count from a non-binding national referendum.

It is "an evident and overwhelming victory for the 'Yes' in this consultative referendum for the Essequibo," said the president of the National Electoral Council, Elvis Amoroso, referring to the oil-rich region controlled by Guyana on which Venezuela has held a longstanding claim.

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5 bodies found in wreck of crashed Osprey off Japan

U.S. and Japanese rescuers found five bodies in the wreckage of an Osprey military aircraft on Monday that crashed last week off Japan, the U.S. military said.

Air Force Special Operations Command said search teams were able to locate remains along with the main fuselage of the aircraft wreckage. "The dive teams were able to confirm five additional crew members from the original team of eight that were involved with the crash," it said in a statement.

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11 bodies recovered after volcanic eruption in Indonesia, 12 climbers still missing

The bodies of 11 climbers were recovered Monday a day after a furious eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano as Indonesian rescuers searched for 12 apparently still missing.

Marapi has stayed at the third highest of four alert levels since 2011, a level indicating above normal volcanic activity and prohibiting climbers or villagers within 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) of the peak, said Hendra Gunawan, the head of the Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation.

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Ukraine says shot down 18 Russian drones, one missile

Ukraine's air force said on Monday that it shot down 18 of 23 Iranian-made Shahed drones and one missile that Russia fired at its territory overnight.

"As a result of combat operations, 18 attack drones and one X-59 guided missile were destroyed," the air force said in a social media post.

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German tourist killed and two wounded in Paris knife attack

French police arrested a man who targeted passersby in Paris on Saturday night, killing a German tourist with a knife and injuring two others, France's interior minister said.

Police subdued the man, a 25-year-old French citizen who had spent four years in prison for planning a violent offense. After his arrest, he expressed anguish about Muslims dying, notably in Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories, and claimed that France was an accomplice, French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said. The attacker apparently cried "Allahu Akbar" (God is great), Darmanin added.

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