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Saudi Arabia Under Pressure to Ease Protest Ban

Saudi Arabia came under renewed pressure Wednesday to ease its ban on demonstrations, as Facebook activists called for a "Day of Rage" and a "Saudi revolution" later this week.

With the tightly controlled kingdom's security forces poised to crack down on any unauthorized demonstrations, U.S.-based lobby group Human Rights Watch added its voice to demands for a relaxation of the protest ban.

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Ten Copts Shot Dead in Egyptian Religious Clashes

Ten people were killed and 110 wounded in religious clashes Tuesday in Cairo, the health ministry said, as Egypt's mew military rulers struggle to steer the post-revolution country through a transition.

"The total number of injured received by hospitals after the violence (Tuesday) in the areas of Moqattam, the Citadel and Sayeda Aisha is 110, while 10 people were killed," said Sherif Zamel, head of emergency services at the health ministry, without specifying if they were Christian or Muslim.

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UAE Activists Demand Direct Elections

A group of Emirati intellectuals and activists on Wednesday petitioned the president of the Gulf state to introduce direct elections and vest the parliament with legislative powers.

The petition, posted online, cites "rapid regional and international developments that necessitate improving national participation," in calling for the direct election of all members of the Federal National Council (FNC), which serves only as an advisory body.

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Gadhafi Accuses West of Plot to 'Colonize' Libya

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi warned on Wednesday that the region would be engulfed in chaos, spreading to Israel's doorstep, if al-Qaida takes control of his country.

"If al-Qaida manages to seize Libya, then the entire region, up to Israel, will be at the prey of chaos,” he said in an interview with Turkey's public TRT television channel.

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Spain Says Libya Military Intervention Must Be 'Last Resort'

Any military intervention in Libya should be the "last resort" and with the approval of the United Nations, Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said Tuesday.

"Before any possible intervention in Libya, we must note the principles to follow, firstly the (approval of the U.N.) Security Council," he said.

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Bashir Meets in Cairo with Egypt Military Rulers

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Egypt's new military rulers on Tuesday, the official MENA agency reported, marking the first visit to post-Mubarak Egypt by an Arab head of state.

Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, met with Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who heads the country's ruling military council.

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Arab League to Hold Crisis Talks on Libya Saturday

Arab foreign ministers are to hold crisis talks on Saturday to discuss imposing a no-fly zone over Libya, Arab League officials said, as Libyan jets keep up near daily strikes to crush a rebellion.

The meeting was initially scheduled for Friday, but was postponed a day after requests from several foreign ministers, deputy secretary general Ahmed Ben Hilli told reporters.

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Libya No-Fly Zone Calls Mount as New Battles Loom

Libya's air force stepped up air strikes and heavy shelling was heard on Tuesday on the front line, as the revolt against Moammar Gadhafi's regime entered its third week amid mounting calls for a no-fly zone over the country.

As the violence escalated, the Arab League said foreign ministers of its member states would meet on Saturday for crisis talks on the situation, a day later than originally announced.

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Tunisia Islamists Back Ban on Polygamy, Not Head Scarf

Tunisia's newly legalized Islamist movement said Tuesday it supported the country's ban on polygamy but urged the government to lift one on wearing headscarves in schools and universities.

Ennahda (Awakening) was legalized this month for the first time in the 30 years of its existence after the interim government that replaced the toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime introduced unprecedented reforms.

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Rebels Reject Talks, Demand Gadhafi Quits Libya

Rebels said Tuesday they rejected a mediator's offer of talks with Moammar Gadhafi and demanded that he leaves the country, while the strongman's regime dismissed as "rubbish" any suggestion of an approach from the Libyan leader.

Although it was unclear whether the issue was raised of immunity for the man who has ruled Libya with an iron fist for four decades, the head of the rebels' provisional national council told Agence France Presse they would not pursue criminal charges if Gadhafi quits.

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