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Kidnapped Hungarian Freed in Egypt's Sinai

Armed Bedouin tribesmen freed a Hungarian peacekeeper in Egypt's Sinai after briefly detaining him on Thursday to press for the release of a jailed relative, police officials said.

The Bedouin set the soldier free after tribal leaders intervened, and the kidnappers had not realized they were capturing a member of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) stationed in the peninsula, the police said.

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Canada Breaks Taboo on Israel E.Jerusalem Talks

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird met an Israeli minister in annexed Arab east Jerusalem this week, a spokesman said, breaking a widely observed diplomatic taboo.

Baird met Justice Minister Tzipi Livni at her office in east Jerusalem, Canadian foreign ministry spokesman Rick Roth said, in a move normally avoided by visiting diplomats over concerns it could be seen as legitimizing Israel's annexation of the city's eastern sector.

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Rights Abuses by Israel Prison Medics 'Endanger Lives'

Human rights violations by medics working for Israel's prison service are endangering the lives of both Israeli and Palestinian inmates, especially hunger strikers, a watchdog said on Thursday.

Physicians for Human Rights-Israel strongly urged the transfer of responsibility for prisoners' health from the Israel Prisons Service (IPS) to the health ministry in order to ensure detainees' health was put ahead of "security considerations".

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Syria TV Confirms Video of Cleric's Killing is Real

Syrian state television has confirmed that a video showing the March 21 killing of prominent religious cleric Mohammed Saeed al-Bouti is real, days after describing the footage as a fake.

In an unprecedented act, the broadcaster said it "apologized" for denying the authenticity of a video distributed online this week, showing the moment of an explosion in a Damascus mosque that killed Syria's best-known Sunni cleric.

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Syria Says U.N. Should Class Nusra as Qaida-Linked

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday called on the U.N. Security Council to class the jihadist Al-Nusra Front as an al-Qaida-linked group, state news agency SANA said.

In a letter to the United Nations, the Syrian foreign ministry said it "expects the Security Council to fulfill its role and preserve global security," the agency added.

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U.S. Dismisses Speculation over Fayyad Resignation

The United States on Thursday shot down speculation Palestinian premier Salam Fayyad is poised to offer his resignation to president Mahmoud Abbas after a dispute between the two.

Rumours the U.S.-educated economist would either resign or be told to step down by Abbas have been rife in recent weeks following the high-profile dispute between the pair over the government's hiring and firing policy.

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G8 'Appalled' by Syria Death Toll, Urges Aid for U.N. Appeal

G8 foreign ministers meeting in London said Thursday they were "appalled" by the rising death toll of more than 70,000 in the Syrian conflict and urged all countries to boost aid to a U.N. appeal for the country.

But they made no mention of supplying arms to the rebels as the opposition have demanded, saying only that there should be greater "humanitarian" assistance for those caught up in a conflict that is now in its third year.

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Iran ex-Nuclear Negotiator Joins Presidential Race

Iran's former nuclear negotiator Hassan Rowhani joined the race to succeed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday, accusing the incumbent of needlessly incurring crippling economic sanctions.

Rowhani, 64, who headed the relatively moderate nuclear negotiating team that served under reformist president Mohammad Khatami before Ahmadinejad took power in 2005, joins a field of more than a dozen hopefuls for the June election.

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Hamas Says 'Collaborator' Campaign a Success

Gaza's Islamist rulers Hamas claimed success on Thursday in their month-long campaign to encourage people accused of collaborating with Israel to turn themselves in.

"The campaign to combat espionage achieved a number of goals, and from this evening the deadline for Israeli collaborators to turn themselves in has ended," said interior ministry spokesman Islam Shahwan.

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Israeli Army Shoots 'Physically Disabled' Palestinian

Israeli troops shot and wounded a physically disabled Palestinian man in an attempt to arrest him in Hebron on Thursday, a prisoners' rights group said.

Motazz Obeidu, 32, was "seriously wounded by Israeli army gunfire during an arrest operation" at dawn in the southern West Bank city, the Ramallah-based Prisoners Club said, adding that Israel was "responsible for his life."

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