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Ivory Coast Announces New Government

Ivory Coast announced a new government Wednesday in another step towards re-establishing itself after a five-month dispute over presidential elections that descended into deadly violence.

The line-up of 36 ministers does not feature the party of Laurent Gbagbo, the former president who refused to step down after November elections, leading to the violence.

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Syria Opposition Demands Regime Change not Amnesty

Syrian opposition groups insisted on regime change as they met in Turkey on Wednesday, a day after President Bashar Assad decreed an amnesty for political prisoners following two months of bloodshed.

The three-day gathering -- titled "Conference for Change in Syria" -- opened with the Syrian national anthem and a minute of silence for "the martyrs" killed in bloody crackdowns on street protests simmering in Syria since March.

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U.N.: Libyan Regime, Opposition Committed 'War Crimes'

A U.N. panel on Wednesday accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime of carrying out systematic attacks on the population, saying that it committed not only war crimes but also crimes against humanity.

While it found fewer reports of violations by the opposition, the commission of inquiry set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council also found that rebel forces committed acts that constituted war crimes.

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Libyan Oil Minister Says Joining Rebellion

Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem announced Wednesday in Italy that he had resigned and left Libya to join the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi "to fight for a democratic country."

"I can't work in this situation so I have left my country and my job to join the choice made by young Libyans to fight for a democratic country," he told journalists, following weeks of rumors and denials about his defection.

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Assad Forms Dialogue Committee as Hundreds of Political Prisoners Freed‎

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Wednesday launched a "national dialogue" while freeing hundreds of political prisoners in an amnesty opposition groups and Washington say does not go far enough.

State television said Assad had set up a committee and charged it with "formulating general principles of dialogue that will open the way for the creation of an appropriate climate in which the different elements can express themselves and present their proposals."

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39 Dead as Sanaa Clashes Shatter Yemen Truce

Gunbattles raged Wednesday on the streets of Yemen's capital, killing 39 people, witnesses said as a truce between security forces and tribesmen collapsed, residents fled and embassies bolted their doors.

A medic at Jumhuriya hospital said 37 people, most of them combatants, were killed in overnight clashes in Sanaa, while an Agence France Presse photographer said the bodies of two other tribesmen were taken to Al-Ulum hospital during the day.

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6.4 Magnitude Quake Shakes Chile

A magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck off the southcentral coast of Chile on Wednesday in an area hit by a major temblor last year, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The tremor caused panic in some communities but there were no immediate reports of deaths or major damage, and there were no tsunami warnings from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii.

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Britain: Syria Must Be Reported to U.N. over Nuke Claims

Britain believes that Syria should be reported to the U.N. Security Council over its alleged illicit nuclear activity, Britain's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Wednesday.

In a restricted report circulated to member states last week, the U.N. watchdog said it was "very likely" that a remote desert site in Syria bombed by Israeli planes in 2007 was indeed a covert nuclear reactor, as alleged by the United States.

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Mubarak, Sons to Be Tried August 3

Ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak and his two sons, Alaa and Gamal, are to face trial on August 3 on charges of ordering the killing of protesters and fraud, a judicial source told Agence France Presse Wednesday.

The trio will be tried by the North Cairo criminal court and the hearing will be presided by Judge Ahmed Rifat, the source said.

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New Zealand Plans for Hollywood-Style Sign on Hold

Wellington Airport on Wednesday said it had put plans for a giant "Wellywood" sign on hold amid a public backlash against the idea in the New Zealand capital.

The eight-meter-high (26-foot-high) sign across a hillside owned by the airport was designed as a Hollywood-style tribute to Wellington's film industry, which has created blockbusters such as "The Lord of the Rings".

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