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International

US missile hits failed spy satellite over Pacific

By DPA

Washington : The US Navy has successfully hit a falling spy satellite with a missile fired late Wednesday from a warship in the Pacific Ocean, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed.

The US targeted the satellite because it carries a toxic fuel that could be harmful if the spacecraft drifted back into the Earth's atmosphere and the fuel tank fell into a populated area.

The USS Lake Erie near Hawaii fired an unarmed missile at 10:26 p.m. Wednesday that collided at a speed of 27,000 km per hour with the satellite 247 km above the Pacific.

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Tanzania police arrests suspected terror attackers before Bush visit

By NNN-Bernama

Dar Es Salaam : Tanzanian police have rounded up nine suspected terror attackers prior to the state visit by United States President George W. Bush, police sources have revealed.

Inspector-General of Police Saidi Mwema said that the suspects had been rounded up two days before Bush arrived in Dar es Salaam, China's XINHUA news agency reported Thursday quoting two local English tabloids as saying.

The nine suspects were rounded up in the two cities -- Dar es Salaam and Arusha. The two cities are on Bush's Tanzanian itinerary.

12 killed in floods, landslides in Philippines

By DPA

Manila : At least 12 people were killed and several more missing due to floods and landslides triggered by a week of heavy rains in the eastern Philippines, relief officials said Thursday.

The impoverished province of Eastern Samar, 630 km southeast of Manila, was the worst hit, with nine people killed in the floods there.

Two more were killed in the nearby province of Leyte, while another was buried by a landslide in Albay province.

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Colombian rebels to free four hostages: France

By IANS

Caracas (Venezuela) : Colombia's largest leftist insurgent group has agreed to free four hostages, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has said.

Addressing media persons at the Miraflores Palace here, Kouchner Wednesday quoted Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as telling him the rebels had added a fourth name to the list of hostages they proposed on Jan 31 to set free, but declined to reveal the person's identity, Spain's EFE news agency reported Thursday.

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Lutfi not being investigated by LA cops

By IANS

New York : The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has denied reports that they were investigating Britney Spears' manager and friend Sam Lutfi for allegedly drugging the pop star.

Pagesix.com quoted Richard French, the LAPD representative, as saying: "There is no investigation into Sam allegedly medicating Britney."

The LAPD media relations department answered more questions saying, "Who would you believe? The LAPD or Internet reports?"

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US Navy missile hits spy satellite

By SPA

Washington : A missile launched from a U.S. Navy cruiser soared 130 miles (210 kilometers) above the Pacific and smashed a dying and potentially deadly U.S. spy satellite, the Pentagon said. Two defense officials said it apparently achieved the main aim of destroying an onboard tank of toxic fuel, AP reported.

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Ukrainian president to arrive in Moscow Feb. 21

By RIA Novosti

Kiev : Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko will arrive in Russia on Thursday, his press service said.

The press service said the main goal of his two-day visit is to attend an informal summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose alliance of most of former Soviet republics, scheduled for Friday.

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Benin Foreign Minister to Cuba

By Prensa Latina

Havana : Benin´s Foreign Affairs minister Moussa Okanla is to start an official visit to Cuba Wednesday, to expand bilateral links, "Granma" newspaper reported.

Okanla´s agenda in Havana includes meeting with his Cuban counterpart Felipe Perez Roque and other Cuban authorities. He will also visiti sites of historic and scientific interest.

Okanla's first visit to Cuba will foster ties of friendship and cooperation existing between both countries.

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Congo Talking Cooperation in Cuba

By Prensa Latina

Havana : Congolese Foreign Minister Basile Ikouebe begins Wednesday a tight agenda in Cuba, including talks with his Cuban counterpart Felipe Perez Roque.

Ikouebe's agenda here also includes meeting with other Cuban authorities and visiting sites of historic and social interest.

This visit is an expression of the smooth exchange and cooperation ties existing between both countries and his wish to enhance bilateral links, "Granma" newspaper reports today.

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China Wishes Fidel Castro Well

By Prensa Latina

Beijing : China, through its Foreign Ministry, wished President Fidel Castro a prompt recovery on Wednesday and reiterated its intention to further broaden friendly ties with Cuba.

A statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry read by spokesman Liu Jianchao comments on the Cuban leader's message published Tuesday that he would not accept re-election to the posts of president and commander in chief.

It notes that Fidel Castro is highly respected by the Cuban people and is also an old friend of the Chinese people.

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