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Obama Urges Yemen to Implement 'Historic Transition'

U.S. President Barack Obama urged Yemen on Wednesday to immediately implement a deal under which President Ali Abdullah Saleh has agreed to hand over power after 33 years in office.

"The United States will continue to stand by the Yemeni people as they embark on this historic transition," Obama said in a written statement.

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Saudi Minister Accuses Iran of Meddling in Gulf

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Wednesday accused Iran of continuing to interfere in neighboring Gulf states, warning that its nuclear program could pose a threat to regional security.

In a ministerial meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Faisal spoke of "continued Iranian meddling in the internal affairs of the countries of the region."

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U.S. Says Won't Alter Missile Shield Plan in Europe

The United States will not alter its plans to deploy a NATO missile defense system in eastern Europe, U.S. officials said Wednesday, adding the shield was not aimed against Russia.

"The United States has been open and transparent with Russia on our plans for missile defense in Europe, which reflect a growing threat to our allies from Iran that we are committed to deterring," insisted National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

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Paris Says SNC a Legitimate Syria Interlocutor, Chief Rejects Attacks on Army

France will ask its EU partners to consider setting up humanitarian corridors in Syria, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday after talks with Burhan Ghalioun, head of the opposition Syrian National Council.

Juppe said France considered the SNC a "legitimate interlocutor" and he would take to Brussels the idea of protected escape routes for Syrian civilians fleeing the crackdown of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

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STL: Trial Chamber Awaits Further Info from Lebanon before Starting in Absentia Trials

The Special Tribunal for Lebanon Trial Chamber has decided Wednesday to await a response from the Lebanese authorities on their efforts to arrest the accused before deciding whether to begin proceedings in absentia, it announced in a statement.

“The Trial Chamber has requested STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare to file a progress report by 8 December on the response of the Lebanese authorities,” it added.

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Al-Azhar Urges Egypt Police to End Shootings

The grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest seat of learning, called on Egyptian police on Wednesday not to shoot at protesters demanding democratic change as four more people died in clashes.

As thousands rallied for a fifth straight day in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square, epicenter of the Arab Spring uprising which overthrew veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February, an opinion poll found that 43 percent of Egyptians thought the ruling military was trying to slow down or reverse its gains.

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Yemen's Saleh Signs Deal to Quit Power

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah signed a deal on Wednesday to hand over his powers after 33 years in office which Saudi King Abdullah hailed as marking a "new page" in the impoverished country's history.

Live footage of the ceremony aired by Saudi state television showed Saleh ink the Gulf- and U.N.-brokered agreement in Riyadh's Al-Yamama royal palace watched over by members of the Yemeni opposition as well as King Abdullah and Gulf foreign ministers.

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New Libya Cabinet Wins U.S. Praise, Angers Regions

A new government line-up in Tripoli drew praise from Washington Wednesday as a "significant step" towards democracy but barbs from Libya's regions highlighted the challenge of unity after 42 years of dictatorship.

Areas of the vast desert country that played major roles in the eight-month uprising which overthrew Moammar Gadhafi's regime complained of "marginalization" in the long-awaited interim cabinet unveiled late on Tuesday.

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Danish Hotel Flouts the Law, Reserves Floor for Women

A Copenhagen hotel will continue reserving a whole floor for women, despite a recent ruling that doing so is discriminatory and illegal, the hotel director said Tuesday.

Last May, the Bella Sky Hotel in central Copenhagen opened a floor dubbed the Bella Donna with 20 specially decorated rooms for women, and no men allowed.

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Mexican Troops Find $15 Million Cash in Car

Mexican soldiers hit the jackpot when they carried out a surprise search of a car in the unruly border town of Tijuana and found $15 million plus jewels and drugs stashed inside.

The haul, uncovered on Friday, most likely belonged to one of the country's notorious drug cartels, the defense ministry said in a statement Tuesday.

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