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Bahrain Opposition Launches Week-Long Protest

Thousands of Bahrainis have begun a week-long rally in a Shiite village, an activist said Sunday, 10 days ahead of the first anniversary of the start of pro-democracy protest which was brutally crushed.

"The large number of people who participated yesterday (Saturday) wanted to deliver a message to the government that people are determined to keep up the demands that they made on February 14" last year, leading Shiite opposition activist Matar Matar told AFP.

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Russia Blames West over Syria Resolution Veto

Russia on Sunday blamed Western powers for the U.N. Security Council's failure to pass a resolution condemning the violence in Syria, saying they had failed to make an additional effort for a consensus.

"The authors of the draft Syria resolution, unfortunately, did not want to undertake an extra effort and come to a consensus," Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov wrote on Twitter after Russia and China's use of their veto sparked outrage. "The result is known," he added.

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Syria Hails Russia, Chinese U.N. Veto

An official Syrian newspaper on Sunday hailed the Russian and Chinese double veto of a draft U.N. Security Council resolution on the regime's crackdown, calling it a catalyst for the speeding up of reform.

The daily government mouthpiece Tishreen was the only Syrian paper to comment on the veto, which drew swift condemnation from world powers.

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Protesters Attack 8 Syrian Embassies around World

Protesters attacked eight Syrian embassies around the world following reports of the bloodiest episode yet in Damascus' nearly yearlong crackdown on dissent. Mobs trashed diplomats' offices from London to Australia and set the embassy in Cairo on fire.

Activists say Syrian forces killed more than 200 people in the city of Homs before dawn Saturday, pounding restive neighborhoods with mortars and artillery. The government denies the reports.

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Cut Ties with Syria, Urges Tunisia PM

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali called Sunday on all countries to cut off diplomatic relations with Syria over the violence there.

"We have to expel Syrian ambassadors from Arab and other countries," Jebali said during a panel discussion on the Middle East at a security conference in the southern German city of Munich.

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Syrian Opposition: U.N. Veto Gives Syria 'License to Kill'

The opposition Syrian National Council on Sunday slammed the Russian and Chinese veto of a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria as giving the regime of President Bashar Assad a "license to kill."

The SNC said in a statement "Syrians and others around the world" had looked to the Security Council to issue a strongly worded resolution, "one that would clearly condemn the Syrian regime's crimes; the atrocity and impunity with which it kills civilians, including women and children; and the genocide it commits in exterminating entire families.

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Rising Australian Floodwaters Force Mass Evacuation

Thousands of Australians were forced to abandon their homes on Sunday as a record deluge swept through areas still reeling from last year's devastating floods, claiming its first life.

Police ordered the 3,800 residents of the town of St George, in northern Queensland state, to evacuate as rising floodwaters raced towards record heights, threatening to cut the one remaining exit road.

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Seven Dead in Attack on Afghan Police Building

Seven people were killed Sunday in a suicide car bomb attack on police headquarters in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar, a bastion of Taliban militancy, the interior ministry said.

Three policemen and four civilians died in the blast in the car park, the ministry said in a statement, while nine other people were injured.

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Pacifists Protest Possible War against Iran

Hundreds of protesters demonstrated Saturday in New York and pacifist groups took to the streets in dozens of other U.S. and Canadian cities in a "Day of Mass Action" against a possible war with Iran.

About 500 protesters gathered in Manhattan's Times Square and marched to the headquarters of the U.S. mission to the United Nations and to the Israeli consulate.

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New Blast Hits Egypt's Gas Pipeline to Israel

Saboteurs on Sunday blew up a pipeline that supplies gas to Israel, the 12th such attack in a year, security officials said.

Masked gunmen planted explosives under the pipeline in the Al-Massaeed area, close to the town of El-Arish in the north of the Sinai Peninsula, they said.

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