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UAE: Iranian Official's Son Died of Medicine Overdose

The son of a top Iranian official whose body was found in a Dubai hotel last weekend died of an overdose of anti-depression and schizophrenia medicine, United Arab Emirates police said.

A forensic investigation "rules out any criminal suspicion" in the death of Ahmed Rezaei, 35, Dubai's police chief, Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan, said late Wednesday, according to the state news agency WAM.

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Juppe Says Syrian Opposition Must Get Organized

The Syrian National Council opposed to the regime of Bashar Assad needs to be better organized before any official recognition of it, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday.

"The SNC must get organized," Juppe told RMC radio, excluding immediate official recognition of the confederation of most anti-Assad groups protesting Assad's regime in Syria.

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Iraq Executes Tunisian for 2006 Samarra Shrine Bombing

Iraq has executed a Tunisian man convicted of involvement in a 2006 attack on a revered Shiite shrine that unleashed a wave of sectarian bloodshed, a justice ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The ministry "executed 11 people on Wednesday, including a Tunisian convicted of involvement in the bombing of al-Askari shrine in Samarra in 2006," the spokesman said, asking to have his name withheld.

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China 'Highly Concerned' about Syria, Calls for Speedy Implementation of Arab Deal

China said Thursday it was "highly concerned" about the situation in Syria, where the regime is being pressed to end a violent crackdown on protests and implement an Arab League peace plan.

Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has so far failed to comply with the peace plan -- signed on November 2 -- to end its crackdown on protests, which the United Nations says has left at least 3,500 people dead since March.

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Barak 'Not Very Optimistic' on Iran Sanctions

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Thursday, ahead of a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog, that he was "not very optimistic" about the prospects of strong new sanctions against Iran.

"I'm not very optimistic -- there are difficulties in mobilizing will in the world. That's why we're working to convince foreign leaders to impose strong and concrete sanctions to stop Iran," Barak told Israeli public radio.

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Thousands of Kuwaitis 'Storm Parliament'

Thousands of Kuwaitis stormed parliament on Wednesday after police and elite forces beat up protesters marching on the prime minister's home to demand he resign, an opposition MP said.

"Now, we have entered the house of the people," said Mussallam al-Barrak, who led the protest along with several other lawmakers and youth activists also calling for the dissolution of parliament over alleged corruption.

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U.S. Says Opposition Violence Plays into Syrian Regime's Hands

The United States said Wednesday that the use of violence by the Syrian opposition plays into the Syrian "regime's hands," adding it did not condone violent acts by either side.

State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner was reacting to reports that Syrian army defectors had attacked a Syrian military intelligence base on Wednesday in one of the most daring raids in eight months of unrest.

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Arab League Gives Syria 3 Days to Accept Observers

The Arab League on Wednesday gave the Syrian regime three days to halt months of deadly violence against its people or face economic sanctions, Qatar's prime minister said.

The 22-member League is "giving the Syrian government three days to stop the bloody repression" of its civilian population, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem al-Thani told a press conference after a meeting of member states in Rabat.

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Pro-Assad Protesters Attack UAE, Morocco Embassies

Protesters pelted the Moroccan embassy in Damascus with eggs and stones on Wednesday, Morocco's ambassador said as his country hosted an Arab League meeting aimed at ending bloody unrest in Syria, amid another attack on the UAE embassy in Damascus.

Morocco's ambassador, Mohammed Khassasi, told Agence France Presse that more than 100 demonstrators had attacked the building and stripped it of its flag.

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Turkish-Arab Forum: For Urgent Steps to Protect Syrians, No to Foreign Intervention

Turkey and members of the Arab League called Wednesday for "urgent measures" to protect Syrian civilians from violent repression by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

In a statement issued after a Turkish-Arab cooperation forum in the Moroccan capital Rabat, they also declared they were "against all foreign intervention in Syria."

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