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News crew guard dies after being shot in attempted robbery

OAKLAND, CALIF. -- A security guard has died after he was shot while he protected a San Francisco Bay Area television news crew covering a smash-and-grab theft, part of a rash of organized retail crime in the region.
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500 vigilantes gather in Mexico town to protect avocado growers

NUEVO URECHO, MEXICO -- Extortion of avocado growers in western Mexico has gotten so bad that 500 vigilantes from a so-called "self-defence" group known as United Towns, or Pueblos Unidos, gathered Saturday and pledged to aid police.
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Anti-government protesters block bridges, roads in Serbia

BELGRADE, SERBIA -- Skirmishes on Saturday erupted in Serbia between police and anti-government demonstrators who blocked roads and bridges in the Balkan country in protest against new laws they say favor interests of foreign investors devastating the environment.
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3 men killed by falling trees, as winter storm Arwen strikes U.K.

At least three people have died in the U.K. after the year's first winter storm battered parts of the nation with gusts of nearly 160 km/h.
The storm, which was named Arwen by the country's Met Office, hit parts of the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland particularly hard late Friday and early Saturday.
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Dutch government apologizes for discredited transgender law

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS -- The Dutch government made a public apology Saturday for a now discredited and scrapped law that required transgender people to undergo surgery and sterilization if they wanted to change their gender on their birth certificate.
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Channel migrant deaths: Smugglers net millions per kilometre

CALAIS, FRANCE -- The price to cross the English Channel varies according to the network of smugglers, between 3,000 and 7,000 euros.
Often, the fee also includes a very short-term tent rental in the windy dunes of northern France and food cooked over fires that sputter in the rain that falls for more than half the month of November in the Calais region.
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Afghan prime minister defends Taliban's rule amid crisis

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- Afghanistan's Taliban prime minister defended the group's rule in a public address Saturday, saying it was not to blame for a worsening economic crisis and is working to repair the corruption of the ousted government.
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Britain tightens COVID-19 rules as world on alert over new omicron variant

The latest:
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Russia jails 5 people over coal mine disaster that killed 51

MOSCOW -- A Russian court on Saturday ordered five people to remain in pre-trial detention for two months pending an investigation into a devastating blast in a coal mine in Siberia that resulted in dozens of deaths.
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Israel plans to ban entry of all foreigners in effort to contain omicron variant

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A court in Siberia on Saturday remanded five people in custody for two months to face charges related to a mining accident that killed more than 50 people this week.
Three managers of the Listvyazhnaya coal mine, including its director, were ordered to remain in custody until late January on charges of flouting industrial safety standards, a spokesperson for the regional prosecutor's office said.
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Brian Laundrie's parents discovered a handgun was missing when they voluntarily surrendered their firearms to law enforcement the same day they informed authorities that their sonwas missing, according to the family's attorney, Steven Bertolino.
Bertolino's comments come days after a Florida medical examiner confirmed Laundrie, who was the subject of a weekslong manhunt following the disappearance of his fiancée Gabby Petito, died by suicide from a gunshot wound to the head.