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U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder

WASHINGTON In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China's claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose "terrible" costs to Beijing's international reputation if flouted the court's decision.

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Australian police investigate Vatican treasurer over abuse: ABC

SYDNEY Cardinal George Pell, the Australian-born Vatican treasurer, is being investigated by police in relation to multiple allegations of child abuse in his home country, the Australian Broadcasting Corp (ABC) reported on Wednesday.

Australia, Pope 5:35pm EDT

Australia prison abuse could violate torture conventions: U.N.

SYDNEY The use of hoods, restraints and teargas on Australian aboriginal children in youth detention centers by police, as shown in footage released this week, could violate the U.N. treaty barring torture, a top U.N. official said on Thursday.

Australia 10:19pm EDT

At least 120 cases of sexual violence in South Sudan capital: U.N.

UNITED NATIONS The United Nations said on Wednesday there has been at least 120 cases of sexual violence and rape against civilians in South Sudan's capital Juba since fighting erupted three weeks ago between troops loyal to the country's rival leaders.

United Nations, Africa 6:50pm EDT

Guatemalan judge charges former president in bribery case

GUATEMALA CITY A Guatemalan judge on Wednesday charged former President Otto Perez with money laundering and bribery in a massive corruption case in which 52 others were also accused, including former ministers, business people and lawyers.

9:30pm EDT

North Korean defects to South in Hong Kong: report

HONG KONG A North Korean defector has sought refuge at the South Korean consulate in Hong Kong, a local newspaper reported on Thursday, citing government sources in the city.

South Korea, North Korea 10:22pm EDT

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