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Scuffles Break Out in Venezuela's Congress Chamber

Scuffles and a fistfight erupted between allies and adversaries of President Hugo Chavez in Venezuela's National Assembly on Thursday, forcing security guards to separate two battling lawmakers.

It was the second scuffle among lawmakers since early January, when newly elected opposition lawmakers took their seats in a legislature that had for years been controlled almost exclusively by Chavez allies.

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Impatient, Obama Sharply Questions Mubarak Pledge

Bristling with impatience, President Barack Obama on Thursday openly and sharply questioned whether Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's pledge to shift power to his vice president is an "immediate, meaningful or sufficient" sign of reform for a country in upheaval.

Without naming Mubarak, Obama issued a written statement that criticized the leader for not offering clarity to his people or a concrete path to democracy. He called on Egyptian government leaders to do so, declaring: "They have not yet seized that opportunity."

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UNIFIL in Dark over Israeli Freeze on Ghajar Pullout

Israel has failed to notify U.N. peacekeepers along the volatile Lebanese-Israeli border of its decision to freeze its plan to withdraw from the disputed village of Ghajar, a U.N. official said Thursday.

"The U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) has not been notified by Israel of any change in their position on this matter," said Milos Strugar, UNIFIL's director of political and civil affairs.

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As He Assumes Mubarak Powers, Egypt Powerful VP Tells Protesters to Go Home

Egypt's Vice President Omar Suleiman on Thursday told protesters and strikers to head home or back to work in his first speech after Hosni Mubarak delegated presidential powers to him.

Suleiman told "the youth of Egypt, its heroes, go home and go back to your jobs" in a televised statement shortly after Mubarak made an address formally putting his former intelligence chief in charge of government business.

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Mubarak Says Transferring Power to VP, But Keeps Title

Egypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak announced Thursday he was handing his powers over to his vice president, Omar Suleiman, and ordered constitutional amendments.

But the move means he retains his title of president and ensures regime control over the reform process, falling short of protester demands.

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Obama: History Unfolding in Egypt

U.S. President Barack Obama declared Thursday the world was watching history unfold and a moment of transformation in Egypt, as reports said President Hosni Mubarak may be ready to step down.

Obama also directly addressed the young people of Egypt who have swelled massive crowds in Cairo, saying America would do all it could to ensure a genuine transition to democracy at an apparently pivotal moment of the crisis.

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U.S. Ties Lebanese Bank to Money Laundering, Hizbullah

The U.S. has accused the Beirut-based Lebanese Canadian Bank of laundering money for alleged cocaine trafficker Ayman Joumaa, and linked Hizbullah to the bank's illegal activities.

The U.S. Treasury said it would move to prohibit U.S. financial institutions from working with the bank, which it said was tied to Joumaa's international syndicate that laundered "hundreds of millions of dollars monthly" in cash from the drugs trade.

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Egypt Army Says to Take 'Measures to Protect Nation'

Egypt's military said Thursday it would respond to the "legitimate" demands of the people as President Hosni Mubarak's regime tottered in the face of massive nationwide protests demanding his overthrow.

It was not immediately clear if the announcement spelled the end of Mubarak's 30-year-reign, the central demand of hundreds of thousands of people who have filled the country's streets in the two-week-old uprising.

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Mubarak Could 'Respond to People Demands' by Friday, Says Ruling Party Official

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could "respond to the people's demands by tomorrow," the secretary general of his ruling party told the BBC on Thursday, as protesters demanded the strongman's departure.

"I expect the president to respond to the demands of the people, because what matters to him in the end is the stability of the country. The post is not important to him," Hossam Badrawi of the National Democratic Party said.

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Deloitte Says Tablets, Smartphones to Outnumber PCs in 2011

Sales of tablets and Smartphones will outnumber personal computers this year as consumers begin using a wider variety of devices to access the Internet, according to a study by the Deloitte consulting firm.

"Deloitte predicts that in 2011 more than 50 percent of computing devices sold globally will not be PCs," Deloitte said in its latest Technology, Media & Telecommunications Predictions report.

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