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Tunisians Celebrate Anniversary of Pioneering Arab Revolt

Thousands of Tunisians rallied on Saturday to commemorate a young fruitseller's desperate gesture a year ago which unleashed the pioneering revolution of the Arab Spring.

Newly-elected President Moncef Marzouki joined the crowds in the town of Sidi Bouzid, where Mohamed Bouazizi's altercation with a policewoman and his subsequent self-immolation set off a wave of protests that toppled long-standing dictators and dramatically changed the Arab world.

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Gunmen Kill Policeman in Northern Nigerian City

Gunmen have killed a policeman in the northern Nigerian city of Kano, a day after three soldiers died in an attack on a military-run school, police said Saturday.

The gunmen opened fire on a police checkpoint on the outskirts of the city late Friday, resulting in a shootout which left one policeman dead and another seriously wounded, Kano state police spokesman Magaji Majia told Agence France Presse.

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Arab League to Consider Taking Syria Plan to U.N. Security Council

The Arab League on Saturday threatened to take Syria to the U.N. over its deadly crackdown on dissent but an Iraqi mediator said he had "positive" talks in Syria aimed at defusing the nine-month crisis.

The Qatari prime minister warned that the Arab League would take Syria to the U.N. Security Council if it persisted in refusing to allow observers into the country to monitor the protection of civilians.

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Iran Intelligence: CIA Spy Arrested

Tehran has arrested an alleged U.S. Central Intelligence Agency spy of Iranian origin before he could complete his mission of infiltrating the intelligence ministry, media quoted the ministry as saying on Saturday.

"Based on the scenario, he was supposed to infiltrate the intelligence ministry ... and feed it deceptive information on a large scale and spy on it," said a statement reported by the ISNA news agency.

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Alitalia Eyes Merger with Air France: Report

Alitalia has held high-level talks on a possible merger with Air France-KLM, which already holds a 25 percent stake in the Italian airline, the daily Il Messaggero reported Saturday.

"Alitalia's mission to Paris for a wedding with Air France," read the headline on a report that said Alitalia managers had a meeting in Paris on Friday with Air France chief executive Jean-Cyril Spinetta.

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Salehi: Iran Prepared for 'Worst' on Sanctions

Iran has prepared for "the worst case scenario" to circumvent a toughening of Western sanctions targeting its financial sector and oil industry, its foreign minister, Ali Akbar Salehi, said in an interview published Saturday.

"We are not really worried," Salehi told the official IRNA news agency. "Appropriate responses have been prepared for the worst case scenario, and we have devised a road map" to circumvent new sanctions.

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U.N. Ends Sanctions on Libya Central Bank

The U.N. Security Council on Friday lifted sanctions on Libya's central bank and a key investment bank freeing tens of billions of dollars to ease a post-Gadhafi cash crunch.

The United States immediately announced it would unblock more than $30 billion dollars of assets of the Central Bank of Libya and its subsidiary, the Libyan Foreign Bank (LFB). Britain said it would release more than $10 billion.

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France Giving Britain a 'Good Kicking'

France is giving Britain a "good kicking", deputy premier Nick Clegg said in an interview out Saturday, as the spat over each other's economies rumbled on.

Clegg warned against lurches into xenophobia and chauvinism, the day after telling French Prime Minister Francois Fillon to "calm the rhetoric" as Britain hit back at French criticism of its finances.

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DSK to Speak at Economic Forum in Beijing

Former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn will speak at an economic forum in Beijing Monday, organizers said Saturday, in his first public professional speech since the New York scandal in May.

Strauss-Kahn was forced to resign as IMF chief after he was arrested over accusations of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, but all charges were later dropped.

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Merkel: Respect New Euro Rules, Tend Growth

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says Europe must abide by the new rules it has agreed on to stabilize the euro, and also turn its attention to generating economic growth.

Most European Union leaders agreed a week ago to participate in a new budget-stability treaty — designed to deter runaway deficits and supposed to become law by March.

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