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Serbia's coalition government was on the verge of collapse Tuesday over the European Union's plans to send an 1,800-strong policing/administration mission to the breakaway province of Kosovo just days after pro-Western President Boris Tadic's reelection. Serbia's prime minister denounced the plans as a trick to trap the former Yugoslav republic into accepting Kosovo's independence.

Dozens of families separated for decades by the border dividing North and South Korea exchanged video messages with their kin Tuesday under a new program. The two Koreas plan to continue the exchange every three months.

Japan's health minister said Tuesday that Chinese-made dumplings blamed for a string of poisonings in December and January appeared to be deliberately contaminated. The frozen dumplings, produced by a processing company, contained higher concentrations of pesticide than are normally sprayed on vegetables.

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In a symbolic break with the past, a new Iraqi flag – void of Saddam Hussein's handwriting and the three green stars of his ousted Baath Party – was hoisted Tuesday over the Iraqi Cabinet building in Baghdad.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday he is withdrawing a proposal made in 2005 for an international consortium to enrich uranium – the fuel for both nuclear power plants and bombs – inside his country.

Polish and German officials said little ahead of a meeting Tuesday to discuss a touchy issue that has strained ties for years. Under consideration: plans for a museum in Berlin that would document the hardships of Germans driven from their homes at the end of World War II. The plan has stoked anger in Poland, where many view it as an attempt to commemorate war-era Germans.

The central Chinese city of Chenzhou entered the 12th day of a blackout Tuesday sparked by the worst winter storms in more than half a century. About 130,000 repair workers have fanned out to restore power ahead of Thursday's start of the Lunar New Year holiday. Eleven electricians have been killed in the struggle to restore power, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

A senior member of Zimbabwe's ruling ZANU-PF party, Simba Makoni (above), said on Tuesday he will run for president in the March 29 election in the biggest internal challenge to Robert Mugabe in 20 years. Mugabe is accused by critics of wrecking the southern African country's once promising economy. Makoni is a member of the ruling party's politburo and former finance minister.

Based on a five-day aerial census, Kenya's elephant population is gradually increasing, according to the country's wildlife service. It cites a 4 percent growth – to 11,700 elephants – in Africa's second-largest game reserve during the past three years. Officials attribute the rise to bans on the ivory trade and antipoaching measures.

The World Bank and Britain-based Department for International Development said Tuesday that the world needs to invest more than $2 billion to help Afghan farmers to switch from booming opium cultivation to other means of making a living.

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, a former Marxist revolutionary and US cold war foe, said Monday that he wants to turn a "new page" in relationships with the US by encouraging cooperation in fighting drug gangs. US officials were in Nicaragua to evaluate the Central American nation's antinarcotics effort.

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