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U.N. Rights Chief: Brutality in Libya, Syria 'Shocking'

U.N. rights Chief Navi Pillay on Monday slammed the brutality of crackdowns on protestors by government forces in Libya and Syria, saying the actions were shocking in their disregard for human rights.

"The brutality and magnitude of measures taken by the governments in Libya and now Syria have been particularly shocking in their outright disregard for basic human rights," Pillay told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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U.S. Wants to Report Syria to U.N. over ‘Alleged Illicit Nuclear Activity’

The United States will ask the U.N. atomic watchdog to report Syria to the U.N. Security Council over its alleged illicit nuclear activity, according to a draft resolution obtained by Agence France Presse on Monday.

At a meeting of the International Atomic Energy Agency's board of governors next week, Washington will urge member states to report Syria to the Security Council, despite an apparent pledge by Damascus to break a three-and-a-half-year silence over its alleged nuclear ambitions.

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Israel Troops Clash with Worshippers at West Bank

Israeli soldiers clashed overnight with Jewish worshipers who tried to enter a religious site in the northern West Bank city of Nablus without permission, the military said on Monday.

The disturbances erupted when scores of religious Jews attempted to visit Joseph's Tomb without authorization shortly after hundreds of others had traveled there on an army-escorted tour.

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Iran Denies Buying Ship from Israel Firm

Iran's top trade official has denied that a public company in Iran, which does not recognize the Jewish state, bought a ship from an Israeli firm as claimed by Washington, local media said on Sunday.

"Based on the laws of the country, any kind of trade or economic transaction with the Zionist regime and its affiliated firms is against the law," the chairman of Iran's Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Mines (ICCIM), Mohammad Nahavandian, was quoted as saying.

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Egypt to Expel Iran Diplomat Spy Suspect

Egypt will expel an Iranian diplomat who was briefly detained on suspicion of spying on the North African country for Tehran's intelligence services, security officials said on Sunday.

The officials said the diplomat, who had been released earlier in the day, would be "expelled within 48 hours."

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Suspected Qaida Gunmen Seize South Yemen City

Suspected al-Qaida gunmen have taken control of the south Yemen city of Zinjibar, capital of Abyan province, after heavy fighting with security forces that left 16 dead, an official said on Sunday.

The fighters "were able to gain control of the city of Zinjibar ... and took over all government facilities," except for the headquarters of the 25th mechanized brigade, which is besieged by militants, the security official said.

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Mubarak, 2 Ministers Fined $90 Million for Telecom Shutdown during Uprising

A Cairo court on Saturday fined ousted president Hosni Mubarak and two ex-ministers $90 million dollars for "damaging the economy" with a telephone and Internet shutdown during Egypt's uprising.

Mubarak, his former prime minister Ahmed Nazif and interior minister Habib al-Adly were jointly "ordered to pay the state 540 million Egyptian pounds from their personal funds," a judicial source said.

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Syria Activists Protest after Security Forces 'Killed Boy in Custody'

Pro-democracy activists in Syria called for fresh protests on Saturday after the alleged torture and killing of a 13-year-old boy by security forces in the flashpoint region of Daraa.

The body of Hamza al-Khatib was returned to his family on Wednesday, following his disappearance after a demonstration on April 29, activists said on their Facebook site, Syrian Revolution 2011.

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Egypt Reopens Rafah Border with Gaza for First Time in 4 Years

Egypt on Saturday reopened its Rafah border crossing with Gaza, allowing people to cross freely for the first time in four years, in a move hailed by Hamas but criticized by Israel.

Among the first to cross the reopened border post were two ambulances ferrying patients from the hitherto-blockaded Gaza Strip for treatment in Egypt as well as a minibus carrying a dozen visitors, an Agence France Presse correspondent reported.

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Kuwaitis Kick Off Rallies for Prime Minister’s Ouster

Around two thousand Kuwaiti youths took to the streets late Friday, despite an unprecedented security presence, to demand the oil-rich Gulf state's prime minister resign.

The demonstrators chanted repeatedly, "The people want to topple the head" of government, a common refrain of anti-regime protests that have spread across the Arab world this year.

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