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'Magic Flute' Singers End Up In Lake Constance

In Mozart's opera The Magic Flute, Tamino and Pamina can't get married unless brave Tamino passes three tests. At a performance in Austria this week, the trials by silence and fire were no sweat — water turned out to be a bit trickier. A gondola carrying three characters capsized.
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Former Soviet Republic's Democratic Transition Questioned

The former Soviet republic of Georgia passed an important test of democracy last year. After a bitter campaign, the government changed hands peacefully in a free election. But the losing party says democracy in Georgia is threatened because the new government is arresting officials from the old government and putting them on trial for corruption and abuse of power.
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Kerry, Hagel To Meet Russian Counterparts On Friday

The U.S. has canceled plans for an Obama-Putin summit because Russia granted temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. But Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will go ahead with plans to meet their counterparts in Washington.
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Railroad In Deadly Canadian Crash Files Bankruptcy

The rail company involved in the explosion that killed 47 people in a small Quebec town last month has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy is a direct result of the explosion, in which a run-away train carrying oil derailed and blew up not far from the Maine-Quebec border.
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Working To Save The Painted 'Zonkeys' Of Tijuana

Americans once waited in line for the chance to be photographed atop the striped donkeys on this famed tourist strip. But 9/11, the recession and the Mexican drug war have stifled tourism and nearly put the "zonkeys" and their owners out of work. A new push is on to save the historic icons.
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How Gaul-ing! Celebrating France's First Resistance Fighter

He may have lost a battle, but Gallic chieftain Vercingetorix won something greater: status a French national hero. Each summer, a Burgundy village holds a festival to mark the Gauls' defeat by Julius Caesar and the Roman army.
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Egypt May Not Need Fighter Jets, But The U.S. Keeps Sending Them Anyway

American military advisers in Cairo say we should stop sending F-16s to Egypt. Military contractors disagree.
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Yemeni Officials Claim To Have Foiled Al-Qaida Terror Plot

Days after the U.S. announced it would close its diplomatic missions across the Middle East and Africa, Yemeni security officials said that they had foiled a plot by al-Qaeda to attack fuel pipelines and two of the nation's ports. It is unclear if this plot is the same as the one that was alluded to in al-Qaeda communications U.S. intelligence officials intercepted earlier this month.
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Embassy Attacks In Africa Permanently Changed U.S. Diplomacy

Fifteen years ago, al-Qaida militants bombed U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The anniversary comes days after the U.S. government shut down diplomatic missions in various nations as part of a heightened security alert. The missions in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam remain open but a fire at Kenya's international airport heightened concerns over renewed attacks.
NPR

Cancellation Of Putin Meeting Highlights U.S.-Russia Tensions

President Obama has decided against a one-on-one meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in September. The two leaders had tentatively planned to get together for talks in Moscow after they attend the G-20 meeting in St. Petersburg. A key reason that Washington scuttled the summit was Putin's decision to grant temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden. American authorities want him returned to the U.S. to stand trial. A White House statement acknowledged that the U.S. and Russia have made progress on some issues, but not so much on others. In a statement, President Obama said "given our lack of progress on issues such as missile defense and arms control, trade and commercial relations, global security issues, and human rights and civil society in the last twelve months, we have informed the Russian Government that we believe it would be more constructive to postpone the summit until we have more results from our shared agenda."

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