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By Compiled from wire service reports by Ross Atkin / August 25, 2008



Iran's supreme leader praised President Mahmoud Ahma-dinejad for "standing up" to the West in a dispute over the country's nuclear program, state TV reported Sunday. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Ahmadinejad's government has helped "revive" the values of the 1979 Islamic revolution that transformed Iran into a strict theocracy.

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Plans for India's Tata Motors to build the $2,380 "people's car" in Singur starting in October brought together thousands of demonstrators Sunday in the biggest protest yet against seizure of farmland for industry in eastern India. In all, around 400 acres of seized land are being fiercely disputed. The government has offered compensation, but some farmers do not believe they're being offered their due.

The US-led coalition in Afghan-istan said it would investigate claims that scores of civilians were killed in the village of Azizabad when US and Afghan soldiers launched an attack in the middle of the night. The US coalition said it believed only five civilians, not 76, were killed. The attack occurred during a memorial ceremony for a militia commander.

Thousands marched in Quito, Ecuador, Saturday to back President Rafael Correa, who polls show is inching closer to winning a Sept. 28 vote to pass a new constitution that would expand the leftist's authority. Correa is widely popular for his spending on the poor and his pledges to fight powerful elites he blames for the political instability that toppled his last three predecessors.

Islamic militants said they had seized control of Somalia's third-largest city Saturday after three days of fighting in Kismayo that left about 70 people dead and saw thousands flee. The Islamic courts movement, which controlled the capital, Mogadishu, and much of the south for six months in 2006, said it wrested control of the southern port city of Kismayo from clan militias.

North Korea on Sunday slammed remarks by Seoul earlier this month about the communist country's human rights record and said its southern neighbor was driving relations to their worst crisis. Ties between the North and the South have been frayed since conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak took office in February, vowing to get tough with Pyongyang and tying what once had been a free flow of aid to action the North takes to get rid of its nuclear arms.

Security forces in Indian Kashmir Sunday fired tear gas and used batons to break up protests hours after authorities imposed an indefinite curfew in Muslim-majority areas of the volatile Himalayan region. The curfew comes amid a general strike in Srinagar, the region's main city, and the largest protests against Indian rule in more than a decade, intensifying the turmoil that has roiled the region for almost two months. The curfew does not apply to areas outside the Kashmir Valley with largely Hindu populations.

Taiwan called for China to help usher in an era of peace between the archrivals during Sunday's ceremonies to mark the 50th anniversary of a fierce battle over the outlying island of Kinmen, also known as Quemoy. In 1958, with the backing of the US, Chiang Kai-shek's Nationalist troops held off a 44-day bombardment and later built nearby Taiwan into a fortress, resisting Beijing's attempts to put it under its control.

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