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China defends South China Sea military buildup
AP, Beijing
China's military says it's entitled to strengthen its defenses on islands in the disputed South China Sea but says those measures aren't directed at any specific countries.
Defense ministry spokesman Ren Guoqiang's statement Tuesday follows the U.S. Navy's deployment of three aircraft carriers to the strategically vital sea body, claimed largely by China.

Ex-spy's daughter released from British hospital
AP, London
A British health official said Tuesday that Yulia Skripal, who was targeted along with her father in a nerve agent attack in England, has been discharged from hospital.
"This is not the end of her treatment but marks a significant milestone," said Dr. Christine Blanshard. She said she would not provide details about Skripal's condition out of concern for the patient's privacy.

N Korean FM calls for closer ties with Russia
Reuters, Moscow
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said on a visit to Moscow on Tuesday that the situation on the Korean Peninsula and events in international politics showed that his country and Russia needed to forge stronger ties.

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