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Indian school fire toll rises to 20
AFP, Surat
 Indian police on Saturday charged the owners of a private school which turned into an inferno that killed 20 teenagers, some who died jumping from the building in a desperate bid to escape the flames, officials said.
Sixteen of the dead were young women who had been preparing for exams at the tuition centre illegally set up on the top of a commercial building in the western city of Surat, the officials said.

Egypt frees ex-diplomat who called for referendum
AP, Cairo
 An Egyptian rights lawyer says a former diplomat who called for a referendum on Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi's government has been released from jail.
Khaled Ali says his client, Masoum Marzouk, was released earlier this week along with four activists.

Maltese navy rescues more migrants
AFP, Valletta
 The Maltese navy said Saturday it had rescued 216 more migrants, including pregnant women and minors, from two small craft in the Mediterranean.
Malta, which was holding a vote for the European Union parliament Saturday, has appealed to the EU for help in dealing with the flow of migrants, which much larger neighbour Italy has begun to turn away.

Ex-US Marine alleges "threats, abuse" in Russian jail
AFP, Moscow
A former US Marine arrested on spying charges in Moscow says he is subjected to abuse and harassment in jail, but a diplomat warned Saturday a potential prisoner swap will not happen before a conviction.
Paul Whelan has been held under arrest in Russia since late December and is accused of being caught red-handed "carrying out an act of espionage".

Mount Everest death toll reaches 10
Agencies ,Kathmandu
The deaths of an Irish and a British climber on Mount Everest took the toll from a deadly week on the world's highest peak to 10, expedition organisers said Saturday.
British climber Robin Fisher, 44, reached the summit Saturday morning but collapsed when he had got just 150 metres back down the slope.

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Prison riot kills 23 in Colombia as Chile enforces virus curfew

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US envoy says Kabul, Taliban in first prisoner exchange talks

US envoy says Kabul, Taliban in first prisoner exchange talks

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US Secretary of State Pompeo visits Kabul amid multiple crises

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Fears Bali will emerge as Indonesia's coronavirus hotspot

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Zero coronavirus cases in North Korea?

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Iran leader refuses US help, citing virus conspiracy theory

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N Korea says Trump's letter offers anti-virus cooperation

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Netanyahu offers to step down next year in unity deal

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Virus concerns lead to 'public' meetings without the public

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AP, Jefferson City :First, Oklahoma lawmakers excluded the public from the Capitol because of coronavirus concerns.Then with the public gone, lawmakers made an emergency change to the state's open-meetings law