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To coordinate Iraqi, Turkish, and US efforts to fight Kurdish separatist guerrillas, the three sides have agreed to establish a permanent commission, a senior US Embassy official in Baghdad said Thursday. Some 40,000 people have been killed since 1984, when the Kurdistan Workers' Party took up arms to carve out an ethnic homeland in southeast Turkey.

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The US opened its first new consulate in China in 20 years on Thursday as part of a shift of diplomatic resources away from Europe and toward the "new front lines of diplomacy." The consulate in the central industrial center of Wuhan brings the number of US diplomatic installations in mainland China to six, just ahead of the 30th anniversary of renewed US-China diplomatic relations.

A Japanese naval destroyer failed to intercept a dummy ballistic missile in a test simulating a North Korean ballistic missile attack, Japan and the US said Wednesday. The test took place in Hawaiian waters. There was no immediate explanation for the failure.

Australian police will lift restrictions placed on former Guantánamo Bay detainee David Hicks, authorities said Thursday after his public plea for the police to let him "get on with" his life. Hicks, a former Australian cowboy turned Taliban foot soldier, pleaded guilty to supporting terrorism at a US military tribunal in exchange for a nine-month sentence in Australia. He had spent 5-1/2 years in the US military prison in Cuba, and has been subject to movement and communication restrictions while under Australian supervision.

The killing of 12 peacekeepers in an African Union camp will not go unpunished, an International Criminal Court prosecutor in Amsterdam said Thursday in asking for an arrest warrant against rebels for war crimes in Sudan's Darfur area.

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