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China's army plays down South China Sea island-building

BEIJING — China's military on Tuesday compared its controversial island-building in the South China Sea to ordinary construction such as road-building going on elsewhere in the country, trying to deflect criticism over an issue seen as inflaming

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Estrada seeks furlough to attend mom's birthday

DETAINED Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada has asked the Sandiganbayan to grant him five-hour break so he could attend the 85th birthday celebration of his mother, former senator Luisa Ejercito Estrada.

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Customs seizes P25M worth of smuggled sugar

CUSTOMS intelligence agents in Misamis Oriental recently seized 416,000 kilos of refined white sugar from China worth some P25 million.

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India appoints 1st transgender head of college

KOLKATA, India — India has for the first time appointed a transgender as the principal of a women's college.

Manabi Banerjee will head the Krishnagar Women's College in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal.

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Australian political party revives gay marriage debate

CANBERRA, Australia -- Australia's political opposition plans to harness momentum from the Irish gay marriage referendum by proposing a law next week that would recognize Australian same-sex marriages.

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Swiss officials: 6 soccer officials arrested, suspected of getting, paying bribes

ZURICH — The Swiss Federal Office of Justice says six soccer officials have been arrested and detained pending extradition at the request of US authorities ahead of the FIFA congress in Zurich.

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Documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark dies in NY at 75

NEW YORK — Documentary photographer Mary Ellen Mark, called "a snake charmer of the soul" for her gift of capturing searing images of human vulnerability, has died at age 75.

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LeBron, Cavaliers earn NBA Finals spot by sweeping Hawks

CLEVELAND (Updated) — The championship LeBron James craves more than any other, the one he came back home to get, is within reach after Cleveland routed Atlanta 118-88 on Tuesday to complete a series sweep and secure its place in the NBA Fi

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