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Red Cross Slams Attacks on Medical Services in Syria

The international Red Cross on Friday condemned attacks on medical services in Syria, saying that relief workers and ambulances have come under fire on several occasions in the country.

"It is completely unacceptable that volunteers who are helping to save other people's lives end up losing their own," said Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, the International Committee of the Red Cross' head of operations for the Near and Middle East.

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Abbas: We Want to Delegitimize Occupation, Not Israel

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vowed Friday to lodge a bid for U.N. membership before the Security Council in one week, despite mounting Israeli and U.S. opposition.

"We are going to the Security Council," he said in a televised address to the Palestinian people from his Ramallah headquarters.

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Iraq Pressing Iran to Free U.S. Hikers

Iraq's leaders, including the president and prime minister, have repeatedly called on Iran to release two U.S. hikers convicted by Tehran for spying, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Agence France Presse on Friday.

"We passed messages to the Iranians at all levels, from the president himself to the prime minister to the foreign minister," Zebari said, referring to President Jalal Talabani and Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

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VW Steps Up Investment in New Models, Factories

German auto giant Volkswagen said Friday it would boost investment sharply over the next five years as part of its ambitions to become the world's biggest car maker by 2018.

VW said in a statement it had earmarked 62.4 billion euros ($86.1 billion) for investment between 2012 and 2016, representing an increase of almost 21 percent over the preceding five-year investment plan for the period from 2011 until 2015.

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London Fashion Week Seeks Global Audience for 2012

The spotlight turned to British fashion on Friday as London Fashion Week opened its doors only a day after the curtains went down on its sibling in New York.

In a year when British designers have taken center stage with the weddings of Kate Middleton and Kate Moss, London is determined to capitalize on the mood and prove it can compete on a global platform.

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Villas-Boas - United Clash Won't Influence Title Race

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists his side will still be firmly in the Premier League title race even if they lose Sunday's showdown with Manchester United.

United have made a sensational start to their bid for a 20th English title, scoring 18 goals to surge to the top of the table, while Villas-Boas's team have been rather more subdued.

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Nadal Hands Spain Flying Start Against French

Rafael Nadal cast off fatigue and his U.S. Open final loss to Novak Djokovic to thrash Richard Gasquet in Friday's opening rubber of the Davis Cup semi-final to hand the hosts and four-time champions a 1-0 lead.

World number two Nadal blitzed Gasquet 6-3, 6-0, 6-1 to underline the Spaniards' status of favorites on home clay as they look to advance to a final against either defending champions Serbia or Argentina, who were facing off in Belgrade.

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Welcome to Ewood 'Hell', Samba Warns Arsenal

Blackburn skipper Chris Samba has vowed to make Ewood Park a "living hell" for Arsenal as the Gunners chase only their second victory of the season on Saturday.

Rovers have endured a miserable start to the season, failing to win any of their opening four games in a run that sees them firmly anchored to the bottom of the table with mounting pressure on boss Steve Kean.

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Chelsea Star Drogba Set to Miss Man Utd Clash

Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas admits Didier Drogba is set to miss Sunday's clash against Manchester United as the Ivory Coast striker continues to recover from concussion.

Drogba was concussed in a collision with Norwich goalkeeper John Ruddy during Chelsea's 3-1 victory on August 27 and has yet to return to action.

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McCartney Returns to Roots for Third Wedding

Former Beatle Paul McCartney could marry New York socialite Nancy Shevell at the same location he tied the knot with his first wife Linda, according to documents disclosed on Friday.

The 69-year-old pop legend has posted notice of his forthcoming marriage at an office for civil ceremonies in Marylebone, central London, where he wed for the first time in 1969.

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