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Gulf Mediator Leaves Yemen Empty-handed

The Gulf Cooperation Council chief left Yemen empty-handed Wednesday, saying political rivals there are not yet ready to reach an agreement, state news agency Saba said, as fighting raged in Sanaa.

"GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al-Zayani and his accompanying convoy left Sanaa today," reported Saba.

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Obama Says No 'Short Cut' to Middle East Peace

U.S. President Barack Obama stressed Wednesday there is no "short cut" to peace between Israel and the Palestinians as he sought to head off a showdown over a Palestinian bid for full U.N. membership.

Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, Obama made the Middle East conflict the center point of his speech before he was due to hold crucial meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the diplomatic conflict.

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Obama Calls for U.N. Sanctions on Syria

U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday called for U.N. Security Council sanctions on Syria, saying there was no excuse for inaction when people were being “tortured and murdered” by their government.

"For the sake of Syria -- and the peace and security of the world -- we must speak with one voice. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people," Obama told the United Nations General Assembly.

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Anti-Gadhafi Fighters Take a Pounding in Sirte

Anti-Gadhafi fighters on Wednesday admitted heavy losses and hospitals full of wounded from their assault on the deposed Libyan despot's hometown of Sirte, forcing them to send abroad critically hurt troops.

At least 45 National Transitional Council (NTC) fighters have been killed and more than 200 wounded -- mostly by explosions or gunfire -- since they launched an offensive against Sirte last week, medics in Misrata said.

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Bahraini Protesters Jam Traffic in Capital

Protesters disrupted traffic in the Bahraini capital's central business district on Wednesday as part of efforts to step up pressure ahead of weekend by-elections, activists and witnesses said.

The demonstration was called by an Internet-based youth group that was one of the main engines of a Shiite-led uprising crushed by the Sunni-ruled kingdom's security forces earlier this year.

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Kurd Rebels Forced from Northwestern Iran

Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday that they had now cleared northwestern Iran's border area of armed Kurdish rebels, who are based in Iraq.

"Following numerous and powerful operations against the PJAK terrorist group, the Revolutionary Guards were able to clean the northwestern border area of this terrorist group...," said the Guards' website Sepahnews, quoting the Commander of the Guards forces in that area, Brigadier General Mohammad Taqi Osanlou.

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Turkey Requests U.S. Help against Kurd Separatists

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has submitted a list of requests for help from the United States to counter Kurdish separatists, Anatolia news agency said Wednesday.

"There is a list of requests we have conveyed to them regarding the fight against the PKK," Erdogan was quoted as saying by Anatolia, referring to the rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), blacklisted as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.

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Renewed Fighting in Yemen Capital Despite Truce

Artillery fire and shelling rocked Yemen's capital Wednesday despite a truce aimed at ending fighting between rival military units and deadly attacks on anti-regime protesters, witnesses said.

The fighting erupted in Achrine Street, whose residents include Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi, who had declared the truce late on Tuesday, the witnesses told Agence France Presse.

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Thousands of Palestinians Rally in Support of U.N. Bid

Thousands of Palestinians on Wednesday were gathering across the West Bank for rallies in support of the campaign to join the United Nations as the 194th member state.

In Ramallah, the political capital of the West Bank, thousands of people were heading for the city Centre, waving flags and chanting slogans, for a rally expected to start late morning, an AFP correspondent said.

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Libya's NTC Claims Control of Key City of Sabha

Libya's new rulers said on Wednesday that their fighters have overrun the key southern city of Sabha, one of the last strongholds of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi.

"We are in complete control of the city of Sabha. Everybody, including (those who were) pro-Gadhafi, are now with the revolution," Abdelmajid Seif Ennasr, an official for the National Transitional Council in Sabha, told Agence France Presse.

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