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Contemporary Dance Blooms in Beirut 'Arab Spring'

Contemporary dancers are finding their feet in the Arab world, as the art form renowned for freedom of expression blossoms at a time of regional upheaval.

"Over the past few years, Arab contemporary dance has been blossoming," said Omar Rajeh, organizer of the just-ended Beirut International Platform of Dance (BIPOD), which hosted over 20 choreographers in the Lebanese capital.

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France Says Syrian Regime Will Fall if Repression Continues

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Monday that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime will fall if it continues its bloody repression of demonstrations.

"If the regime perseveres down this path (of repression), it will fall, one day or another, but it will fall," Juppe told Europe 1 radio.

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World Leaders Praise the Death of Qaida Chief: War Against Terrorism Must Continue

The World leaders on Monday hailed news of the death of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden in a firefight with covert U.S. forces in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad, northeast of the capital Islamabad.

His death marks the biggest triumph yet in the 10-year U.S. war against terrorism launched after the September 11 attacks.

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GCC Chief to Return to Yemen to Renew Mediation

Gulf states said on Sunday they are to renew efforts to end a deadly political crisis in Yemen, after the opposition accused President Ali Abdullah Saleh of having torpedoed their bid at the weekend.

The Gulf Cooperation Council "hopes to remove all the obstacles still standing in the path of achieving a final agreement," the six-nation grouping of Yemen's oil-rich Arab neighbors said after a meeting in Riyadh.

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Egypt Calls on U.S. to Recognize Palestinian State

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday called on the United States to recognize a Palestinian state, as rival Palestinian factions prepare to sign a reconciliation accord in Cairo.

Arabi urged visiting U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot to "press Congress and the American administration to recognize a Palestinian state."

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London Expels Libyan Envoy after British, Italian Missions Torched

Britain expelled the Libyan ambassador Sunday following attacks on the British and Italian embassies in Tripoli, saying Moammar Gadhafi's regime had failed in its duty to protect diplomatic missions.

Protesters set fire to the buildings, which are on the same street in central Tripoli, early on Sunday, Agence France Presse reported, adding that the mob at the Italian embassy ripped down the Italian flag and threw it into the street.

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Egypt Military Warns Against Sectarian Strife

Egypt's military rulers warned on Sunday of strong measures against anyone inciting sectarian strife, in a bid to ease tensions between Muslims and Christians.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, which took power after president Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February, said it was "exerting all efforts to end sectarian disagreements on the Egyptian street to protect this nation."

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Mass Arrests in Daraa, Douma as Syria Protesters Plan Week 'to Break the Siege'

Syrian forces arrested more dissidents Sunday in the flashpoint southern town of Daraa and in a Damascus suburb under siege for a week, after two days of fresh bloodshed, activists said.

Anti-regime protesters appealed for new protests to launch a "week of breaking the siege" imposed on Daraa and the Douma suburb, and other towns facing deadly crackdowns.

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12-Year-Old Suicide Bomber Kills Four in Afghanistan

A 12-year-old suicide bomber killed four people and wounded a dozen in east Afghanistan Sunday, while rebel clashes with police and NATO-led troops left five civilians and two police dead, officials said.

The death toll from the day's fighting included at least three children besides the bomber, and dozens of civilians were wounded in firefights as violence appeared to escalate after the Taliban announced a spring offensive.

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Russia Has 'Serious Doubts' West Not Targeting Gadhafi

Russia called for an immediate ceasefire in Libya Sunday and said it had "serious doubts" the West was not targeting Moammar Gadhafi and his family after Tripoli said the leader's son was killed.

"The claims of the coalition members that strikes over Libya do not have the physical destruction of Moammar Gadhafi and members of his family as their goal cause serious doubts," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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