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U.N.: Lebanon Hosting 3,580 Syrian Refugees

Nearly 4,000 people, who fled to Lebanon between March and September as Syrian troops crack down on anti-regime demonstrations, have registered with the United Nations, a report said.

The report by the UN Development Program released late on Friday said that more than 3,580 Syrians registered with the U.N. in north Lebanon by September 7, more than 600 of them between September 1 and 7.

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3 Dead in Horrific U.S. Air Show Crash

A World War II-era fighter plane flown by a veteran Hollywood stunt pilot plunged into the edge of the grandstands Friday during a popular air racing show in the U.S. state of Nevada, killing three people, injuring more than 50 spectators and creating a horrific scene strewn with smoking debris.

The plane, flown by 74-year-old Jimmy Leeward, spiraled out of control without warning and appeared to disintegrate upon impact in Reno. Bloodied bodies were spread across the area as people tended to the victims and ambulances rushed to the scene.

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Niger Says Won't Send Saadi Gadhafi Back to Libya

The Nigerien government said Friday it will not send fallen Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son Saadi back home from Niger, where he fled after the collapse of the regime in Tripoli.

Asked by journalists if Niger would turn Gadhafi’s son over to Libya's new authorities, government spokesman Marou Amadou said, "No."

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Libya NTC Forces in 'Tactical' Withdrawal from Bani Walid

Fighters loyal to Libya's new leaders on Friday thrust deep into the city of Sirte and into desert oasis Bani Walid, two of fugitive Moammar Gadhafi’s few remaining bastions, Agence France Presse reporters said.

On the political front, officials in Tripoli said a new transitional government would be announced on Sunday, while the U.N. General Assembly gave Libya's U.N. seat to the former rebel National Transitional Council.

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Bahrain Forces Fire Tear Gas, Rubber Bullets at Funeral

Bahraini security forces fired tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades Friday to disperse thousands of mourners at the funeral of a man who died after he himself was tear-gassed, a Shiite politician said.

"Security forces used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators while the majority of them were trying to leave at the end of the funeral," said Matar Matar, a senior member of Al-Wefaq, Bahrain's largest Shiite opposition formation.

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Red Cross Slams Attacks on Medical Services in Syria

The international Red Cross on Friday condemned attacks on medical services in Syria, saying that relief workers and ambulances have come under fire on several occasions in the country.

"It is completely unacceptable that volunteers who are helping to save other people's lives end up losing their own," said Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, the International Committee of the Red Cross' head of operations for the Near and Middle East.

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Abbas: We Want to Delegitimize Occupation, Not Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Friday to lodge a bid for U.N. membership before the Security Council in one week, despite mounting Israeli and U.S. opposition.

"We are going to the Security Council," he said in a televised address to the Palestinian people from his Ramallah headquarters.

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Iraq Pressing Iran to Free U.S. Hikers

Iraq's leaders, including the president and prime minister, have repeatedly called on Iran to release two U.S. hikers convicted by Tehran for spying, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Agence France Presse on Friday.

"We passed messages to the Iranians at all levels, from the president himself to the prime minister to the foreign minister," Zebari said, referring to President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

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VW Steps Up Investment in New Models, Factories

German auto giant Volkswagen said Friday it would boost investment sharply over the next five years as part of its ambitions to become the world's biggest car maker by 2018.

VW said in a statement it had earmarked 62.4 billion euros ($86.1 billion) for investment between 2012 and 2016, representing an increase of almost 21 percent over the preceding five-year investment plan for the period from 2011 until 2015.

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London Fashion Week Seeks Global Audience for 2012

The spotlight turned to British fashion on Friday as London Fashion Week opened its doors only a day after the curtains went down on its sibling in New York.

In a year when British designers have taken center stage with the weddings of Kate Middleton and Kate Moss, London is determined to capitalize on the mood and prove it can compete on a global platform.

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