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Thursday, Feb 26th

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Cuba releases 53 political prisoners as part of deal with America

Cyba releases 53 prisonersCuba has released all 53 prisoners it had promised to free, senior U.S. officials said, a major step toward détente with Washington.

The release of the remaining prisoners sets a positive tone for historic talks next week aimed at normalizing relations after decades of hostility, the officials said.

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Officials: Paris unity demonstration largest in French history

France marchFrance's Interior Ministry said Sunday’s Paris rally for unity was the largest demonstration in France's history — a march organized to show harmony after three days of attacks that left 17 dead.

Calling the rally "unprecedented," the ministry said the demonstrators were so numerous they spread beyond the official march route, making them impossible to count.

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Official: Islamic State group battle in Iraq kills 30 Kurds

Kurds killed by ISISIslamic State group fighters attempting to retake a town in northern Iraq held by Kurdish peshmerga forces have killed at least 30 Kurds, an Iraqi military spokesman said Sunday.

The battle for the town of Gwer demonstrates the Islamic State group's ability to still launch offensives in Iraq, despite a monthslong campaign of airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition. And while an alliance of Iraqi troops, Kurdish fighters and Sunni and Shiitte militiamen have made some gains, their advance remains tenuous at best.

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World leaders join massive crowds in Paris unity rally

Je suis charlieDozens of world leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday to join hundreds of thousands of French citizens set to march amid high security in an unprecedented tribute to victims of last week's attacks.

By midday tens of thousands of people had crammed into Place de la Republique to honor the 17 victims of three days of bloodshed.

Hardened rivals such as the Israeli prime minister and the Palestinian president, and top representatives from Ukraine and Russia, were gathered together in the giant formal rooms of the Elysee, along with French President Francois Hollande.

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AirAsia flight black box found, more bodies identified

Air Aaasia black boxAuthorities have discovered the location of the black box of crashed AirAsia flight 8501 and it will be recovered on Monday.

The divers who discovered the flight recorder failed to retrieve it immediately because it was underneath debris. AirAsia Indonesia flight 8501 crashed into the Java Sea one hour after departing Surabaya, Indonesia, on its way to Singapore.

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Arsonists attack German paper that published French cartoons

arsonists attack German magazinePolice in Germany say they have detained two men suspected of an arson attack against a newspaper that republished the cartoons of French weekly Charlie Hebdo.

The newspaper Hamburger Morgenpost said on its website the overnight arson attack destroyed several files in its archive, but didn't injure anyone.

Hamburg police said it had detained the two young men near the newspaper building.

Spokeswoman Karina Sadowsky didn't give any details about the men and said police were still investigating the incident.

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Dozens die in bus crash near Pakistani city of Karachi

Bus and tanker collide in PakistanMore than 50 people have been killed and more injured after a bus collided with an oil tanker near the Pakistani city of Karachi, doctors say.

The tanker was reportedly speeding and travelling on the wrong side of the road when it hit the bus head-on. Both vehicles burst into flames.

Some passengers travelling on the roof of the bus were able to jump to safety but many of those inside were trapped.

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