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EU urges tougher checks on
citizenship bids
AP, Berlin
The European Union's justice commissioner criticized some member countries' practice of awarding "golden passports" to rich people from outside the bloc, urging them on Tuesday to do more to ensure that citizenship isn't given to criminals.
Brussels argues that citizenship should be awarded only in cases where there is a genuine link to the country concerned, but decisions are a matter for individual countries. Malta and Cyprus are among those that have drawn criticism.

4 troops, 2 militants killed in Kashmir
Xinhua, Srinagar
Four Indian army troops, including an officer, and two militants were killed Tuesday in a gunfight near the Line of Control (LoC) , which divides Kashmir, officials said. The gunfight, according to Indian army officers, broke out in Gurez sector of Bandipora district, 165 km north of Srinagar city, the summer capital of Indian-controlled Kashmir.
"An infiltration bid was foiled today on LoC in Gurez sector during which two militants were killed," Indian army spokesman Col. Rajesh Kalia told Xinhua.

Fiji police seize more cocaine
Xinhua, Suva
Another batch of cocaine bars has been discovered in Fiji's eastern islands. Fiji police spokesperson Ana Naisoro said Tuesday that on July 31, one bar of cocaine was found on the island of Moturiki, while last weekend a fisherman found 35 bars of cocaine on the island of Makogai. Fijian police expect to find more cocaine bars.
German couple
convicted over rape
AP, Berlin
A German mother and her partner were convicted Tuesday over the repeated rape of the woman's young son and for selling him for sex on the internet. They were sentenced to prison in a case that has horrified the country. News agency dpa reported that the Freiburg state court in southwestern Germany sentenced the woman, who has been identified only as Berrin T. in line with German privacy rules, to 12½ years in prison for rape, sexual abuse and forced prostitution.
Over 20,000 Afghan refugees return home
Xinhua, Kabul
Over 20,000 Afghan refugees had returned or been deported from neighboring Pakistan and Iran during the period of July 29-Aug. 4, the UN Migration Agency IOM reported Tuesday.
A total of 19.513 Afghans have reportedly arrived in their homeland over the period from Iran, 5 percent less than the previous week, said IOM in a statement.
Meanwhile, 954 Afghans have returned from Pakistan back home over the period.
"This number marks a 700-percent increase compared to the previous week (137)," the statement noted.
The IOM has provided post-arrival humanitarian assistance, including food and non-food items to the returnees.
More than 463,000 Afghan refugees have returned to the poverty-stricken country from the two neighboring states since Jan. 1 this year, the statement said.

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