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Kuwait Opposition to Stage Rally over Graft Scandal

Kuwaiti opposition groups called a rally for Wednesday to press for the government's resignation over an alleged corruption scandal involving a number of MPs and possibly former ministers.

The rally, called by Islamist, liberal and nationalist groups who altogether have more than 20 MPs in the 50-seat parliament, will kick start a campaign to expose those who paid and received the money and for what purposes.

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Report: U.S. Planning with Turkey for Post-Assad Syria

The United States is increasingly convinced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will be overthrown and is preparing for a possibly violent aftermath, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

The newspaper said Washington is quietly working with Turkey to plan for a post-Assad future that could see Syria's various ethnic groups battle for control of the country, potentially destabilizing neighboring states.

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Jordan's King: Israel’s Peace Talks Stance, Assad Regime Contribute to Instability

Jordan's King Abdullah II has warned that Israel's stance in peace talks with the Palestinian is fuelling instability in the Middle East, in remarks published Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal.

"If we can't get the Israelis and Palestinians together in this next couple of days, then what signal is that for the future process?" King Abdullah asked in a WSJ interview in New York ahead of the U.N. General Assembly.

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Amnesty Says EU Response to Libya Refugee Crisis 'Abysmal'

Amnesty International on Tuesday attacked the European Union's "abysmal" response to the mounting refugee crisis on Libya's borders caused by the recent Arab Spring uprisings.

A new briefing paper issued by the rights group called on EU member states to "urgently address" the worsening situation by opening their borders to the mainly sub-Saharan refugees who were forced by the recent unrest to leave their homes.

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Israel Says Palestinian U.N. Bid Will Fail

The Palestinians will not be able to secure a Security Council majority in favor of their bid to become a United Nations member state, Israel's cabinet secretary Tzvi Hauser predicted on Tuesday.

Speaking on Israeli military radio, Hauser said the Palestinians would fail to obtain the nine yes votes they need to keep alive their hopes of becoming a member state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

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Yemen Capital Rocked by Fresh Fighting

Gunfire and shelling rocked Sanaa early Tuesday as rival military forces battled each other on a third straight day of violence in the Yemeni capital in which 53 people have been killed, residents said.

After a lull in fighting that lasted only a few hours in the night, Sanaa residents awoke at dawn to the sound of automatic gunfire and shelling, with witnesses saying troops of dissident General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar were clashing with those loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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U.S. Urges Russia to Back U.N. 'Statement' on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday urged Russia to support a "strong statement" at the U.N. Security Council over Syria's crackdown on protests, senior U.S. officials said Monday.

In her talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Clinton expressed "our interest in seeing the Security Council go on record with a strong statement on Syria," a senior administration official said on condition of anonymity.

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U.S. Calls for Restraint in Yemen

The United States on Monday called for restraint in Yemen where activists and medics said at least 53 anti-regime protesters have been killed in two days of violence.

The U.S. embassy said Washington hoped for a peaceful transition of power in Sanaa and hoped a Gulf Cooperation Council initiative would be signed within a week to transfer power from President Ali Abdullah Saleh to his deputy.

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U.N. Rights Office Urges Int'l Response to Syria 'Dire Situation'

The Syrian regime's bloody crackdown on protestors is intensifying, the U.N. human rights office said Monday as it called for a global response to alleviate the "dire situation" in Syria.

"Despite the mounting international pressure in the past six months since the start of protests, ... the bloody crackdown in Syria has intensified," U.N. Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Kang Kyung-wha said.

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Saudi King Discusses Yemen Crisis with Saleh

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah met Monday embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh to discuss deadly clashes that killed dozens in Sanaa, the official Saudi news agency said.

The meeting was the first since Saleh went to Saudi Arabia for treatment after being wounded in an attack on his Sanaa compound in June.

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