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Tehran Says 'Optimistic' on Egypt Ties after Cairo Expels Iranian Diplomat

Iran is "optimistic" about boosting ties with Egypt, Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi was reported as saying Tuesday after Cairo expelled an Iranian diplomat on suspicion of spying.

"We are optimistic about the future of ties between the two countries," Salehi was quoted as saying by state television's website

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Bahrain King Calls for Dialogue from July 1

Bahrain's King Hamad called on Tuesday for a national dialogue to begin on July 1, as the authorities readied to lift a state of emergency enacted during a crackdown on demonstrators, BNA state news agency said.

"I appeal to the executive and legislature to convene a dialogue of national consensus," the king was quoted as telling a group of journalists.

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Gadhafi 'Finished,' Italy Says amid Stalemate

Moammar Gadhafi's regime is "finished," Italy's foreign minister said Tuesday in the Libyan rebel stronghold after NATO warplanes struck Tripoli and African efforts for a ceasefire stalled.

"The Gadhafi regime is finished, he must leave office, he must leave the country," Franco Frattini told a joint news conference in Benghazi with Ali al-Essawi, the rebels' foreign affairs chief.

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Pakistani Journalist Found Dead near Capital

A Pakistani journalist has been found dead near the capital Islamabad after writing about links between the Pakistani military and al-Qaida, officials said Tuesday.

Syed Saleem Shahzad, 40, worked for an Italian news agency and an online news site registered in Hong Kong. He went missing on Sunday after he left his home in the capital to take part in a television talk show, but never arrived.

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Yemen: 13 Troops Dead, 23 Hurt in Clashes with Qaida in Zinjibar

Eleven Yemeni soldiers were killed in two attacks by alleged al-Qaida fighters on Tuesday, and another two soldiers died of wounds sustained previously, security officials and medics said.

Six soldiers were killed and eight wounded in the first attack, which was on the Dofas military checkpoint about a kilometer from Abyan province's capital Zinjibar, a security official and a medic said.

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Titanic Launch 100 Years Ago Marked in Belfast

Dignitaries on Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of the launch of the Titanic from Belfast in Northern Ireland with a religious service and the firing of a flare.

The ill-starred ocean liner slid down the slipway of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, then the largest in the world, on May 31, 1911, a little less than a year before she sank.

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Hackers Plant Tupac Hoax on U.S. News Website

The website of a U.S. public television news program said Monday its website had been targeted by hackers who planted a false story about rapper Tupac Shakur.

The website of the NewsHour program was briefly shut down, but the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) told visitors that "no personal information or email addresses were compromised in any way during the incident."

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Maqdah Says Palestinians to 'Peacefully' March on Israel Borders Sunday

Palestinians will march on Israel's borders from neighboring Arab states on Sunday to mark the 1967 Six Day War, a top Fatah commander said, calling on the United Nations to protect the protesters.

"We, who hope to return to our lands in Palestine, are planning a peaceful rally this Sunday" at the Lebanese, Syrian and Jordanian borders with Israel as well as the Gaza Strip, Fatah commander in Lebanon Munir Maqdah told Agence France Presse.

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After The Ash, Iceland Gets New Volcanic Fragrance

A designer who shot to fame with a line of perfume inspired by last year's flight-halting Eyjafjoell volcano said Monday she would launch a new fragrance drawn from last week's eruption on Iceland.

After launching "EFJ Eyjafjallajoekull," a women's perfume made from melt water from the glacier sitting on top of the Eyjafjoell volcano that erupted in April last year, Sigrun Lilja Gudjonsdottir said she would soon launch the "VJK Vatnajoekull," a fragrance for men named after the glacier that straddles Grimsvoetn.

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Philippines Warns Tainted Drink Could Shrink Testes

Taiwan and the Philippines have warned some sport drinks may have been contaminated with a chemical that could cause infertility and block boys' sex organ development, officials said Tuesday.

The Philippine Food and Drug Administration is monitoring some imported Taiwanese sport drinks, fruit juices and soft drinks that Taipei said may contain excessive amounts of DEHP, the agency's spokeswoman Jesusa Joyce Cirunay said.

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