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Kerry defends diplomacy as Russian-backed forces pound Aleppo

CARTAGENA, Colombia/BEIRUT U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defended his efforts to negotiate with Moscow over the war in Syria on Monday, despite the collapse of a ceasefire that has led to a massive Russian-backed assault on the besieged rebel-held sector of Aleppo.

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Venezuela opposition calls October 12 protest to press Maduro recall

CARACAS Venezuela's opposition called on Monday for mass rallies nationwide on Oct. 12 to push for a referendum to recall President Nicolas Maduro this year as they seek to oust his Socialist Party in an early presidential election.

8:36pm EDT

Brazil police arrest ex-finance minister Palocci in graft probe

RIO DE JANEIRO Brazilian police on Monday arrested Antonio Palocci, a powerful former finance minister and presidential chief of staff in recent Workers Party (PT) governments, as a sweeping anti-corruption probe hit even harder at the left-leaning party.

Brazil 2:01pm EDT

Vietnamese court decisions against bloggers, activist troubling: U.S.

WASHINGTON Two decisions by Vietnamese courts sentencing a land rights activist to jail and upholding prison terms for two political bloggers are a concern for the United States, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

5:36pm EDT

U.S. sanctions Chinese firm tied to North Korea's nuclear program

WASHINGTON The United States said on Monday it had sanctioned a Chinese industrial machinery and equipment wholesaler, a new step in tightening the financial noose around North Korea's nuclear program after its fifth nuclear test this month.

North Korea 4:00pm EDT

Exclusive: Poland will only agree EU approval of Paris climate deal on its terms - minister

BRUSSELS Poland will only sign off on accelerated EU approval of the Paris climate deal on its own terms, its environment minister said in a letter to EU counterparts, casting doubt on a push by the bloc for adoption ahead of U.N. climate talks in November.

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