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5 Shot Dead as U.N. Team Visits Syria's Homs

Syrian security forces and pro-regime militiamen on Monday killed five people, including three shot dead by security forces who opened fire on protesters at a rally in Homs as a U.N. fact-finding team visited the central Syrian city.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights which reported the killings said several people were also wounded in Homs.

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Assad Forms Commission Tasked with Legalizing Political Parties

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday signed a decree setting a commission tasked with legalizing political parties.

The commission is chaired by the prime minister and comprises a magistrate and two lawyers.

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7 Rockets Hit Israel after Gaza Factions Declare Truce

Seven rockets from Gaza hit Israel on Monday just hours after militant factions agreed an informal truce after four days of deadly cross-border violence in which 15 Palestinians and an Israeli died.

The truce was hammered out after talks with Egyptian officials, and several hours later, Israel's security cabinet held an emergency session during the night at which ministers decided to hold off from further attacks on the Palestinian territory, army radio said.

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Obama Says Gadhafi’s Iron Fist Regime at 'Tipping Point'

U.S. President Barack Obama said as momentous scenes unfolded in Tripoli Sunday that Moammar Gadhafi's regime had reached a "tipping point" and the Libyan "tyrant" must leave now to avoid further bloodshed.

In a written statement, Obama also looked to the post-Gadhafi era, calling on Libyan rebels who have surged into Tripoli to respect human rights.

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Libya Rebels Surge into the Center of Tripoli, Seif al-Islam Detained

Libyan rebels surged into Tripoli Sunday in a final drive to oust Moammar Gadhafi, seizing swathes of the capital including the symbolic Green Square and arresting the strongman's son, Seif al-Islam.

U.S. President Barack Obama said the Gadhafi regime was at a "tipping point" and that the "tyrant" must go, adding a call for the rebels to respect human rights and move to democracy.

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Assad: Military Action Repercussions Bigger Than Their Ability to Endure

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday brushed aside Western calls for his ouster as "worthless," saying they come from "countries that are committing massacres," in an interview with state television.

"While withholding comment, we tell them that their words are worthless," Assad said.

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Arab League Slams Israel Raids on Gaza, Urges U.N. Action

The Arab League on Sunday condemned the Israeli raids on Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and called on the international community to put pressure on the Jewish state to halt the strikes.

The pan-Arab organization "calls on the international community to pressure the Israeli occupation authorities to put an immediate end to this assault," a statement from the League said.

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U.N. Humanitarian Team Begins Mission in Syria

A United Nations humanitarian team visited Syria on Sunday, as the International Committee of the Red Cross expressed hopes its delegates would soon visit Syrians jailed since the start of the protests.

The U.N. mission began its first full day in Damascus on Sunday, arriving the previous evening to assess humanitarian needs in the wake of the crackdown which have left more than 2,000 people dead.

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Libya's Defected Former PM Jalloud is in Italy

Libya's former Prime Minister Abdessalam Jalloud is in Italy, Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa told reporters on Sunday, confirming reports that he had flown to Italy after defecting.

"Gadhafi's former number two is indeed in Italy," La Russa said, referring to Jalloud -- a popular figure who was once a close ally of Moammar Gadhafi but had been distanced from politics in recent years.

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Red Cross Hopes to Visit Syria Prisoners 'Soon'

Red Cross delegates hope to visit soon thousands of Syrians jailed since the start of pro-democracy protests in mid-March, a spokesman for the ICRC said on Sunday.

"During his visit to Damascus June 21 and 22, ICRC chief Jakob Kellenberger made such a request," Saleh Dabbakeh, spokesman of the International Committee for the Red Cross, told AFP in the Syrian capital.

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