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Tripoli Freezes Ties with Paris, Sarkozy Promises EU-AU-Arab League Summit on Libya

Libya decided on Friday to "suspend" diplomatic relations with France, Deputy Foreign Minister Khaled Kaaim said at a press conference.

The Libyan government has slammed what it called France's "illegal" decision on Thursday to recognize Libya's rebels and warned that the move could lead to a break in relations.

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Libyan Rebels Battle to Retake Oil Town of Ras Lanuf

Libyan rebels battled troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi outside Ras Lanuf on Friday, finding themselves on the back foot and outgunned a day after the regime recaptured the key oil town.

As the two sides exchanged rocket and shell fire east of town, fighter jets screeched over rebel positions on bombing runs, hitting a building used as a checkpoint and setting ablaze an oil storage tank at a nearby refinery.

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Bahrain Police Fire Tear Gas at Protesters

Bahraini police fired tear gas at anti-government protesters on Friday as they tried to prevent clashes with armed loyalists and as tensions soared in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

Thousands of demonstrators chanted slogans against the king as they marched toward a square near the royal palace in Manama where a group of pro-regime loyalists waited with clubs, swords and metal pipes.

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Britain, France Ramp Up Pressure at EU Crisis Summit on Libya

Western powers ramped up pressure on Moammar Gadhafi Friday, with France calling for targeted strikes if he bombs his people, as a crisis summit exposed an EU rift over how to force the Libyan leader out.

The pivotal summit, capping 48 hours of talks also involving NATO defense ministers and European Union foreign ministers, opened with the 27-nation bloc divided over military action as well as a British-French push for formal recognition of Gadhafi's opponents.

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Study Shows Anti-AIDS Drugs Slow Deaths in S.Africa

South Africa's AIDS deaths have fallen by nearly 25 percent due to scaled up access to life-saving drugs, which the government for years had refused to provide, new research has shown.

"The rapid expansion of South Africa’s anti-retroviral program appears to have slowed down the AIDS mortality rate in recent years," said the Actuarial Society of South Africa (ASSA) in a statement.

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Apple's iPad 2 Hits Stores

Apple's new iPad goes on sale across the United States on Friday as the gadget-maker seeks to stay a step ahead of its rivals in the booming market for sleek touchscreen tablet computers.

Apple was to begin taking online orders for the iPad 2, which was unveiled by chief executive Steve Jobs last week, at 4:00 am (0900 GMT), but as of 5:00 am it did not yet appear to be available.

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Britain to Return Aboriginal Remains to Australia

A British museum said Thursday it had agreed to return 138 sets of skeletal remains of indigenous people to Australia in what it hailed as a new approach to the delicate subject of repatriation.

London's Natural History Museum will return the remains to the Torres Strait Islands off Queensland.

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Old Bird Lays Egg at 60

She's the grand old lady of albatrosses, is still raising chicks and doesn't look a day older than she did in 1956.

Researchers call her Wisdom, and at 60 years of age she was recently found sitting on an egg on Midway Atoll, an island in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii.

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Jordan’s Islamists Rally for Reforms

Hundreds of Islamists rallied in Jordan on Friday to demand sweeping government reforms, vowing to step up their protests if their demands are ignored.

Surrounded by a cordon of police, they chanted "The people want regime reforms," and "What is acceptable today will not be tomorrow," as well as "We want the dissolution of parliament."

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Fabric and Form: Yamamoto Retrospective Opens in London

A major exhibition of work by Yohji Yamamoto, one of the world's most influential fashion designers, opens in London Saturday with a showcase of his innovative use of fabric and form.

The retrospective at the Victoria and Albert Museum traces three decades of work by the Japanese designer and highlights the timeless appeal of his clothes, his use of space around the body and his fascination with textiles.

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