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Rafah Crossing Reopens after Hamas-Egypt Agreement

The Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was reopened on Wednesday, ending a four-day closure amid disagreements between Egyptian and Hamas officials.

In a statement, the Hamas manager of the border crossing, Ayub Abu Shaar, said the terminal was reopened "after an agreement with the Egyptian side that all the parties agreed to."

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Clinton Heads to UAE for Talks on Libya

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left here Wednesday for Abu Dhabi to consult with countries backing military action in Libya and looking at more ways to help the Libyan opposition.

The talks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital on Thursday come after President Barack Obama said NATO's mission in Libya was forging "inexorable" advances that meant it was only a matter of time before defiant Moammar Gadhafi's departure.

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Obama Meets Bahrain Crown Prince at White House

U.S. President Barack Obama met the crown prince of Bahrain Tuesday, as Washington backed the Sunni royal family's national dialogue to ease the political crisis in the Shiite majority kingdom.

Obama dropped by a meeting between Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa and U.S. National Security Advisor Tom Donilon, in a White House protocol mechanism used to allow the president to meet lower level officials.

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Syrian Envoy to France Denies Quitting, Says Woman Imitated Her Voice on French TV

Syrian Ambassador to France Lamia Shakkour on Tuesday denied that she had quit her post, in interviews with Syria’s state TV and Al-Arabiya TV, shortly after the France 24 network aired an audio statement purportedly from her saying she was quitting.

In her phone interview with Al-Arabiya, Shakkour said her voice was imitated by the person who called France 24, stressing that she did not speak to any television.

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London Says Assad Must Reform or Go as West Seeks U.N. Condemnation of Syria

Western powers on Tuesday stepped up moves for a U.N. Security Council vote condemning Syria's crackdown on opposition protests, despite strong opposition from Russia and China.

France, Britain and the United States are considering pressing for a vote by the 15-member Security Council on a resolution that could embarrass Russia and China by forcing them into a veto.

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Gadhafi Urges Rallies at HQ despite NATO Bombs: We Won’t Kneel

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has vowed to fight to death in a surprise speech during the heaviest day of NATO shelling in the capital Tripoli.

Gadhafi's voice suddenly emerged on Libyan television Tuesday afternoon -- barely an hour after the last some 30 NATO strikes pounded the capital.

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Syrian Troops Head to 'Massacre' Site amid Calls for Demos

Syrian dissidents warned Tuesday of a harsh backlash as troop reinforcements headed to northwestern Syrian after the authorities said 120 policemen were massacred in the town of Jisr Shughour.

The Syrian Revolution 2011, a Facebook group spurring protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, called for "Tuesday of resurrection" rallies and appealed to the army to protect civilians against regime agents.

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Tunisia Set to Announce Election Date Wednesday

Tunisians will learn Wednesday whether the first elections since their popular uprising toppled longtime ruler Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali and sparked off the Arab Spring will be held as promised on July 24.

The interim government faces objections over the date from the independent electoral commission, which said truly credible polls could not be organized in such a short time and called for a postponement to October 16.

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Russia Says Not Mediating in Libya War as Envoy Meets Rebels

Russia is not playing the role of mediator in the Libya conflict, Foreign Minister Segei Lavrov said on Tuesday after a Kremlin envoy was dispatched to the rebels' stronghold in Benghazi.

President Dmitry Medvedev's envoy Mikhail Margelov met Libyan rebel leaders on Tuesday in the first trip by a top Russian official to their stronghold, as NATO warplanes pounded the capital.

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Iran Submarines Dispatched to Red Sea

Iran's navy has sent submarines to the Red Sea "to collect data," its first mission in distant waters, the Fars news agency reported Tuesday without giving further details.

"The submarines, dispatched in May, have entered the Red Sea after a mission in the Gulf of Aden to collect data on the sea bed in the high seas and to identify other warships," Fars said quoting an unnamed source.

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