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Russia Opposition Vows New Rallies to Shake Putin

The movement against Vladimir Putin was Sunday preparing new rallies to loosen the Russian strongman's 12-year grip on power after keeping up their challenge with a third mass demonstration in Moscow.

Tens of thousands marched through Moscow Saturday despite bitterly cold weather to protest against Putin's domination, with organizers disputing police claims that a pro-Putin rally elsewhere in the capital was even larger.

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U.S. Vows to Dry Up Funding, Arms Shipments to Syria Regime

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton vowed Sunday to bolster existing sanctions against the Syrian regime and seek further ones to block funding and arms shipments to Damascus.

Seeking other ways to turn the screws on Assad a day after Russia and China vetoed a resolution on Syria, Clinton said Washington will also work with Syria's friends worldwide to support the peaceful aims of the opposition.

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Arab League to Continue to Try Mediating in Syria

The Arab League will continue working to end political violence in Syria to stave off foreign military intervention after Russia and China blocked a U.N. resolution condemning Damascus, league chief Nabil al-Arabi said on Sunday.

Arabi said the 22-member organization would continue working with the Syrian regime and opposition for a "political solution" to Damascus' deadly crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

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Egypt to Try 44, Including Americans, in NGO Funds Case

Egypt is to try 44 people, including Americans, over the funding of non-governmental organizations, a day after the United States said aid to Cairo will be reviewed over the crackdown.

"Forty-four people, including Egyptians, 19 Americans and other nationalities, have been referred to the Cairo criminal court in the NGO funding case," the source told Agence France Presse, adding that a travel ban on all remained in place.

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Death Toll from Europe Cold Snap Nears 300

The Arctic cold snap that has hit Europe for over a week had claimed nearly 300 lives by Sunday, brought air travel chaos to London and dumped snow as far south as Rome and even North Africa.

The grim winter toll rose in Ukraine, Poland, Italy and France, where two homeless people found frozen to death were the latest victims, with authorities across the continent reporting at least 297 fatalities.

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Britain Plays Down Falklands Moves amid Nuclear Sub Reports

Britain sought Sunday to play down military moves around the Falkland Islands, as the foreign minister refused to comment on reports it has moved a nuclear submarine to the tense South Atlantic.

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper on Saturday claimed Prime Minister David Cameron has personally approved plans to send one of the Royal Navy's most advanced Trafalgar-class nuclear submarines to the disputed archipelago.

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Syrians Hoist 'New Flag' on Russia's Libya Embassy

Crowds of Syrians chanting anti-Russian slogans entered Moscow's embassy in Tripoli on Sunday and hoisted the new Syrian flag on the building, an Agence France Presse journalist and a Syrian activist said.

The journalist said about 200 Syrians entered the embassy and first removed the Russian flag.

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Jordan Islamists Urge Boycott of Russia, China Goods over Syria

Jordanian Islamists on Sunday called on Muslims and Arabs to boycott Russian and Chinese products after the two countries vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria's regime over bloodshed.

"By vetoing the resolution, Russia and China have shown that they are taking part in the killing of Syrian people," Hammam Saeed, the leader of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, said on the group's website.

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36 Civilians, 28 Troops Killed in Fresh Syria Violence

Syrian security forces killed 36 people across the country on Sunday, most of them in the central protest hub of Homs, activists said, after nine regime troops were killed overnight at the hands of rebels according to a rights group.

The Local Coordination Committees, the main activist group spurring protests on the ground, said security forces killed 22 people in Homs, six in the flashpoint northwestern province of Idlib, five in the restive countryside around Damascus, two in the southern province of Daraa and one in the northern province of Aleppo.

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Defiant Russia Says Lavrov to Seek Reform in Syria

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will ask President Bashar Assad for rapid reforms on a visit to Syria this week, his ministry said Sunday, as Moscow hit back at Western outrage over its U.N. veto.

Lavrov's visit to Damascus on Tuesday alongside the head of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) will aim to stabilize the situation in Syria by winning the implementation of "rapid" reforms, the foreign ministry said.

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