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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A U.N. investigator says contemporary forms of slavery are widely practiced around the world, including forced labor for China’s Uyghur minority. Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur Tomoya Obokata also cites bonded labor for the lowest caste Dalits in South Asia, domestic servitude in Gulf countries, Brazil and Colombia — and traditional enslavement, especially of minorities, in Mauritania, Mali and Niger.

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese state media say 16 people have died and 18 others remain missing after a flash flood in western China. State broadcaster CCTV says a sudden rainstorm triggered a landslide that diverted a river. The flash flood affected an area with more than 6,000 people and over 1,500 houses. Emergency authorities described it as a “mountain torrent” disaster in Datong county.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A Taliban police spokesman in Afghanistan’s capital says the toll from a mosque bombing has risen to 21 people killed with 33 others wounded in the attack. Khalid Zadran, the spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, gave the figures Thursday to The Associated Press after the bombing at the Sunni mosque.

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — The U.S. government will hold talks with Taiwan on a trade agreement in a sign of support for the self-ruled island democracy China claims as its own territory. The announcement comes after Beijing launched military drills that included firing missiles into the seas around Taiwan in an attempt to intimidate the island after a visit by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military has deployed warplanes armed with state-of-the-art hypersonic missiles to the country’s Kaliningrad region. The move comes amid soaring tensions with the West over Moscow’s action in Ukraine. The Defense Ministry said three MiG-31 fighters with Kinzhal hypersonic missiles arrived Thursday at the Chkalovsk airbase in the Baltic Sea enclave as part of “additional measures of strategic deterrence.”

ISLAMABAD (AP) — An Afghan resident and police say that a bombing at a mosque in Kabul during evening prayers killed at least 10 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 27. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Wednesday's attack, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Fires are burning and ammunition is still exploding at a depot in Crimea. That comes a day after the latest suspected Ukrainian attack on a military site in the Russia-annexed peninsula. The attacks have highlighted the challenges facing Moscow. Russia seized the peninsula in 2014. It was once a secure base that Moscow’s forces have used to launch attacks — and it was a staging ground for the start of the Feb. 24 invasion.

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Residents who have fled the Russian-occupied city of Kherson say conditions in the Black Sea port just north of the Crimean Peninsula have become increasingly grim. The southern city was the first to fall to Russia’s invasion. But Kherson remains at the heart of the conflict and Ukraine’s efforts to save its vital access to the sea.

HUALIEN, Taiwan (AP) — Taiwan is staging military exercises to show its ability to resist Chinese pressure to accept Beijing's political control over the island. The drills Wednesday off the southeastern county of Hualien follow days of Chinese missile firings and incursions into Taiwan's sea and airspace by ships and planes from the People's Liberation Army, the military wing of China's ruling Communist Party.

NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Opposition figure Raila Odinga says he will challenge the results of Kenya’s close presidential election with “all constitutional and legal options.” Odinga spoke Tuesday, a day after Deputy President William Ruto was declared the winner. His promise of a challenge brought new uncertainty to East Africa’s most stable democracy. Now the country faces weeks of disputes and the possibility that the Supreme Court will order another election.

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