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Chatter: What we're hearing

Need to know: Sweden's parliament has narrowly approved a resolution recognizing the 1915 mass killing of Armenians in Turkey as genocide. Turkey recalled its ambassador to protest the surprise decision, made days after a U.S. congressional committee approved a similar resolution, Swedish news agency TT said.

In an unprecedented move, the European Parliament on Thursday passed by majority vote a call for the immediate release by the Palestinian group Hamas of the abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit

Want to know: China and Iran have stepped up their abuses of human rights, targeting both anti-government activists and the free flow of information over the Internet, the State Department said on Thursday.

Dull but important: Allies of Iyad Allawi, the former Prime Minister, made the allegations at a press conference called this afternoon as the first voting results trickled in from around the country.

Just because: The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has strongly objected to a statement by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in which he implied that nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) should be the “soft power” component to military. "In conflict areas, MSF never works alongside, or partners with, any military strategy. The organization’s complete independence and neutrality is what helps negotiate access to populations in need of emergency medical assistance," MSF said in a statement issued Thursday.

Wacky: A New Zealand woman has successfully sold two vials that she said contained the ghosts of an old man and a young girl.