International News from CNN

Separatists, government troops continue faceoff in Ukraine

Ukraine is days away from getting a new president, though seemingly much longer from securing a lasting peace -- as demonstrated yet again Thursday, with its military and separatists continuing to face off in eastern and southern parts of the country.

'23 killed' in Iraq clashes

Gunmen attacked several security checkpoints in the Iraqi city of Samarra on Thursday morning, sparking hours of deadly fighting with Iraqi security forces, police officials in Samarra said.

4 Nigerian villages reeling after Boko Haram attack

Scores of residents in four villages in the northeastern Borno state of Nigeria, near the border with Cameroon, were killed Tuesday in Boko Haram raids, a lawmaker and residents said.

Poland's mini desert

No, it's not a mirage: there really is a desert in the middle of Poland.

Afghan singer won't be silenced

Dressed modestly, with a red headscarf loosely draped over her head and shoulders, she steps onto the stage and nervously paces back and forth. Waiting for the music to begin and break the silence, she almost misses her first note before quietly singing into the microphone.

Gunman kills 3 Canadian officers

A man dressed in fatigues and carrying a rifle went on a rampage in the Canadian city of Moncton on Thursday, killing three police officers and wounding two others.

Syrian President al-Assad re-elected: State TV

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was re-elected in the country's first presidential vote since its civil war broke out three years ago, state-run television reported Wednesday.

Brazilian President defends World Cup preparations, budget

With just a little more than a week until the first kickoff of the 2014 World Cup, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hosted a dinner for international journalists and countered criticism that too much money was spent on stadiums while infrastructure projects languished.

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