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UNHCR Says 'Sex Strike' for Peace in Philippine Village

Women in the southern Philippines brought peace to their strife-torn village by threatening to withhold sex if their men kept fighting, the U.N. refugee agency reported Friday.

The "sex strike" in rural Dado village on the often lawless southern island of Mindanao in July helped end tensions and bring some prosperity to the 102 families living there, said UNHCR national officer Rico Salcedo.

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NTC Forces Surge into Gadhafi Bastion Bani Walid

Fighters loyal to Libya's new leaders surged Friday into the city of Sirte and into Bani Walid oasis, two of fugitive Moammar Gadhafi’s few remaining bastions, officials and an Agence France Presse reporter said.

On the political front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tripoli, boosting international support for the National Transitional Council (NTC) a day after Britain's David Cameron and France's Nicolas Sarkozy became the first foreign leaders to visit the new Libya.

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Demonstrators Vow to Bring Down Regime as Syrian Forces Kill 46

Security forces in Syria shot dead at least 46 people in operations across the country on Friday, the Syrian Revolution General Commission said.

In the central city of Homs, two demonstrators were shot dead by security forces when several thousand people gathered to protest, activists said.

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Death Toll in Pakistan Suicide Bombing Rises to 40

The death toll from a suicide bombing that targeted members of an anti-Taliban militia attending funeral prayers in Pakistan's northwestern region has risen to 40, police said Friday.

The bomber blew himself up Thursday as mourners gathered on open ground in Jandol town in the district of Lower Dir, 100 kilometers (60 miles) from the once Taliban-infested Swat Valley.

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Erdogan Arrives in Libyan Capital

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Libyan capital on Friday on the final leg of his "Arab Spring" tour, an Agence France Presse photographer said.

Erdogan arrived from Tunisia at Tripoli's airport, where he was greeted by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, number two in the new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), whose forces last month toppled despot Moammar Gadhafi.

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Report: Turkey has Warned Iran over Syria Crackdown

Turkey has warned Iran "not to spoil" the Syrian leadership whose security forces have been cracking down on protesters since mid-March, a Turkish daily quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Friday.

Erdogan told the daily Hurriyet, "I cannot say there has been tension with Iran but we warned them (the Iranians) that 'the Assad administration is getting spoiled with your encouragement.'"

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Haaretz: Israel Fears Palestinian ICC Recourse on Settlements

Israeli officials fear the Palestinians may launch legal action against Jewish settlements in the West Bank if their bid for upgraded United Nations status is successful, a media report said on Friday.

The daily Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Thursday told EU and U.S. envoys of his concerns about a possible Palestinian recourse to the International Criminal Court in The Hague on the settlers issue.

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NTC Forces Regroup Ahead of Final Assault on Sirte

Forces of Libya's new leadership were regrouping on Friday ahead of the expected final battle for the hometown of fugitive fallen strongman Moammar Gadhafi, after suffering heavy casualties.

An Agence France Presse correspondent at Hassan, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) west of the coastal city, one of Gadhafi's holdout strongholds, said National Transitional Council (NTC) forces were preparing there for the final assault on Sirte.

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Miner Found Dead in Britain as Hopes Fade

Hopes faded Friday for three miners trapped underground in a flooded colliery in Wales after rescuers battling treacherous conditions found the body of one man.

The news that one miner had been found dead came after divers were sent into the mine late Thursday after the men became stuck in the remote hillside colliery in south Wales earlier in the day.

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Clinton Confident Iran Will Free Hikers

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Thursday that she was confident Iran would free two U.S. hikers convicted of spying and rejected concerns about the delay in their release.

"At this point we are not at all concerned because we have received word through a number of sources, publicly and privately, that the decision will be executed... and that we will see their return to their families," she said.

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