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After five weeks of treatment for his wounds, East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta left a hospital Wednesday, recalling for the first time in public the details of his attempted assassination. Ramos-Horta, who was flown to Darwin, Australia, for emergency surgery Feb. 11, will remain there for an undetermined time as his recovery continues, reports said. Above, hospital staffers pose with him as their director presents a parting gift.

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For the third time since December, public services across Greece ground to a halt Wednesday as millions of people walked off their jobs to protest reform of the debt-ridden state pension system. A rally by opponents in Athens drew an estimated 100,000 marchers, some of whom fought with police; about 8,000 more turned out for a peaceful demonstration in Thessaloniki. Parliament is scheduled to vote Thursday on measures that would raise the retirement age for women and offer incentives to keep job-holders working longer.

Eminent science fiction writer Sir Arthur Clarke, who died early Wednesday in Sri Lanka, his adopted home, was one of the first visionaries to suggest the use of orbiting communications satellites and to predict a manned landing on the moon. He is perhaps best known for the hugely popular 1968 motion picture "2001: A Space Odyssey," which was based on a story he wrote two decades earlier. His final novel, "The Last Theorem," was completed earlier this month and will be published posthumously.

Sport Relief, a charity that assists disadvantaged people around the world, received an anonymous one-time pledge of $11 million in its annual appeal for donations, news outlets in Britain reported. The BBC said the gift is believed to be the largest in the history of telethons there. In all, the 2008 campaign raised more than $40 million, its organizers said.

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