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Sadrists Take to Iraq Streets to Decry Poor Public Services

Thousands of supporters of radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr rallied in Baghdad and south Iraq on Friday to decry graft and poor public services, holding up broken appliances to highlight their plight.

In the Shiite stronghold of Sadr City in the capital, protesters also railed against the U.S. military presence in Iraq and held up pictures of their leader alongside Iraqi flags, while demonstrations also took place in several central and southern cities.

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Israel Summons Egypt Envoy over PM Peace Treaty Remarks

Israel's foreign ministry on Friday summoned the Egyptian ambassador after statements by Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, who said the peace treaty between the two states is "not sacred", Israeli website Ynet reported.

Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak summoned Ambassador Yasser Reda to express Israel's "irritation over the recurrent calls from senior Egyptian officials over the need for modification to the peace treaty," Ynet reported.

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Hundreds in Cairo's Tahrir Square Slam Emergency Law

Hundreds of people gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square Friday to protest against the recent expansion of the emergency law, amid palpable anger over the military's handling of transition from autocratic rule.

Last week the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) widened the scope of the emergency law -- restricted in 2010 by ousted president Hosni Mubarak to narcotics and terrorism -- to strikes, traffic disruption and the spreading of rumors.

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NTC Forces Surge into Gadhafi Bastion Bani Walid

Fighters loyal to Libya's new leaders surged Friday into the city of Sirte and into Bani Walid oasis, two of fugitive Moammar Gadhafi’s few remaining bastions, officials and an Agence France Presse reporter said.

On the political front, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Tripoli, boosting international support for the National Transitional Council (NTC) a day after Britain's David Cameron and France's Nicolas Sarkozy became the first foreign leaders to visit the new Libya.

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Demonstrators Vow to Bring Down Regime as Syrian Forces Kill 46

Security forces in Syria shot dead at least 46 people in operations across the country on Friday, the Syrian Revolution General Commission said.

In the central city of Homs, two demonstrators were shot dead by security forces when several thousand people gathered to protest, activists said.

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Erdogan Arrives in Libyan Capital

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in the Libyan capital on Friday on the final leg of his "Arab Spring" tour, an Agence France Presse photographer said.

Erdogan arrived from Tunisia at Tripoli's airport, where he was greeted by Mustafa Abdel Jalil, number two in the new ruling National Transitional Council (NTC), whose forces last month toppled despot Moammar Gadhafi.

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Report: Turkey has Warned Iran over Syria Crackdown

Turkey has warned Iran "not to spoil" the Syrian leadership whose security forces have been cracking down on protesters since mid-March, a Turkish daily quoted Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying Friday.

Erdogan told the daily Hurriyet, "I cannot say there has been tension with Iran but we warned them (the Iranians) that 'the Assad administration is getting spoiled with your encouragement.'"

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Haaretz: Israel Fears Palestinian ICC Recourse on Settlements

Israeli officials fear the Palestinians may launch legal action against Jewish settlements in the West Bank if their bid for upgraded United Nations status is successful, a media report said on Friday.

The daily Haaretz reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had on Thursday told EU and U.S. envoys of his concerns about a possible Palestinian recourse to the International Criminal Court in The Hague on the settlers issue.

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NTC Forces Regroup Ahead of Final Assault on Sirte

Forces of Libya's new leadership were regrouping on Friday ahead of the expected final battle for the hometown of fugitive fallen strongman Moammar Gadhafi, after suffering heavy casualties.

An Agence France Presse correspondent at Hassan, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) west of the coastal city, one of Gadhafi's holdout strongholds, said National Transitional Council (NTC) forces were preparing there for the final assault on Sirte.

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U.S. Urges Americans to Leave Syria Immediately

The United States on Thursday urged Americans to make immediate plans to leave Syria, which has been wracked by anti-regime protests for months, warning anti-foreigner sentiment is mounting.

"The U.S. Department of State urges U.S. citizens in Syria to depart immediately while commercial transportation is available," the State Department said in an updated travel warning.

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