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Friday, Apr 18th

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Deadly Chile fire in Valparaiso 'may burn for 20 days'

Valparaiso fireOfficials in Chile say it could take more than 20 days to fully extinguish a forest fire in the hills around the port city of Valparaiso.

The blaze has killed at least 13 people, left thousands of people homeless and forced mass evacuations. Chile's forestry agency, Conaf, said firefighters were still battling the wildfires, but it stressed that the situation was not "out of control".

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U.S. Revealed: USAID ‘Cuban Twitter’ contractor given secret level clearance

Cuban twitterA firm contracted by the U.S. government to help set up a Twitter-like network in Cuba held secret level security clearance and was warned the operation could involve classified work, according to documents seen by Al Jazeera. And documents show that the program was managed by a section of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) tasked with helping manage regime change in countries where U.S. interests are at stake.

Details contained in the terms a $1.5 billion contract between USAID and Washington-based contractor Creative Associates International (CAI) outline the security clearance arrangements required by the U.S. government. Signed in 2008, the document had been obtained by researcher Jeremy Bigwood through a FOIA request, and shared with Al Jazeera.

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Blast rocks crowded bus station near Nigeria's capital

nigeria bus blastAn explosion blasted through a busy commuter bus station on the outskirts of Nigeria's capital, Abuja, before 7 a.m. (0600 GMT) Monday as hundreds of people were traveling to work.

Many are feared dead. Reporters saw rescue workers and police gathering body parts.

The blast ripped a hole 4 feet deep (1.2 meters) in the ground of Nyanya Motor Park about 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the city center and destroyed more than 30 vehicles, causing secondary explosions as their fuel tanks ignited and burned.

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Ukraine crisis: UN holds emergency security council meeting

UN meeting called by RussiaThe UN security council is holding an emergency meeting in New York at Russia's request as the crisis in eastern Ukraine escalates amid growing violence.

Russian ambassador Vitaly Churkin called the meeting for Sunday night after becoming alarmed at Ukraine's announcement that it would deploy armed forces to quash an increasingly bold pro-Russian insurgency.

"There has already been bloodshed and a further escalation must be swiftly stopped," Churkin told the council. "The international community must ask Kiev to stop and implement all its commitments."

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Libyan PM to step down after attack on his family

libyan prime ministerThe newly appointed Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni is stepping down after he and his family were attacked by a militia.

A statement released by the Prime Minister said that "no one was injured in the attack, but it was very close." Mr al-Thinni was only confirmed as PM last week after Ali Zeidan was sacked for failing to improve security.

Libya has been plagued by instability since armed groups toppled Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

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Microsoft sued over browser miscue that led to $731 million EU fine

Bill GatesMicrosoft Corp's board faces a lawsuit over the way it handled an error with its Internet Explorer browser that ended up costing the company a record-breaking $731 million fine by European antitrust regulators.

The lawsuit, brought by shareholder Kim Barovic in federal court in Seattle on Friday, charges that directors and executives, including founder Bill Gates and former Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, failed to manage the company properly and that the board's investigation was insufficient into how the miscue occurred.

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Gunmen seize two buildings in east Ukraine

east UkraineArmed men have seized a police station and a security services building in eastern Ukraine, officials say.  Police said the men fired shots and used stun grenades to seize the offices in Sloviansk, near the Russian border.

The interior minister called the gunmen "terrorists" and said special forces would repel the attack.

Pro-Russian activists have seized government buildings elsewhere in east Ukraine. Kiev accuses Moscow of orchestrating the unrest.

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