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Cuba's Raul Castro steps out of brother's shadow with U.S. deal, support surges

HAVANA - Stepping out of his legendary brother's shadow, President Raul Castro has scored a diplomatic triumph and a surge in popular support with the deal that ends decades of open hostility with the United States.

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Russia condemns new U.S. sanctions bill

MOSCOW - Russia's Foreign ministry said on Friday it was deeply disappointed U.S. President Barack Obama had signed into law a new bill on sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine crisis and said the bill was "anti-Russian by its nature".

1:29pm EST

Turkish court issues arrest warrant for U.S.-based Erdogan rival, media reports

ISTANBUL - A Turkish court issued an arrest warrant on Friday for U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen whose followers are accused by President Tayyip Erdogan of leading a terrorist plot to seize power, according to media.

4:10pm EST

EU leaders prepare for long confrontation with Russia

BRUSSELS - European Union leaders warned Moscow they are ready to flex their combined muscle and "stay the course" in a long confrontation with Russia if President Vladimir Putin refuses to pull back from Ukraine. | Video

Russia 3:16pm EST

U.S. backed talks with ISIS over American hostage: newspaper

LONDON - U.S. counter-terrorism officials backed negotiations with two prominent jihadi clerics in a failed attempt to save the life of an American hostage who was later beheaded by Islamic State militants, the Guardian newspaper reported on Friday.

3:12am EST

Bulgaria approves pension change despite coalition rift

SOFIA - Bulgaria's parliament on Friday approved making private pension contributions optional despite the junior coalition partners voting against a plan that has been criticized by the financial sector and brought Bulgarians out onto the streets.

3:53pm EST

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