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Egypt Bans anti-Mubarak Activist from Leaving Cairo

Egypt's authorities banned a prominent activist of the 2011 uprising, Asma Mahfouz, from leaving the country late Tuesday while on her way to Bangkok, a Cairo airport official said.

Mahfouz, a well known youth leader, was a leading figure of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak in early 2011.

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Extension of Parliament’s Term Inevitable amid Efforts to Persuade Christians

The extension of parliament's mandate has become a foregone conclusion after both Speaker Nabih Berri and al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc leader MP Fouad Saniora hinted that there was no option but to extend the term of lawmakers despite a veto by influential Christian figures.

Saniora told al-Mustaqbal daily in remarks published on Wednesday that he discussed with Berri a day earlier the extension of the legislature's tenure.

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Mazloum Says Dialogue among Maronites Reached Dead End

Bishop Samir Mazloum denied on Wednesday reports saying that a meeting will be held for the Maronite leaders at Bkirki to discuss the presidential deadlock, revealing that dialogue between Maronites reached a dead end.

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U.S. Marine Accused of Murder Moved to Philippine Military HQ

A U.S. Marine accused of murdering a transgender woman was moved to the Philippines' military headquarters Wednesday, authorities said, following huge public pressure for him to be moved off an American warship.

A U.S. helicopter delivered Private First Class Joseph Scott Pemberton to Camp Aguinaldo in Manila and will be jointly guarded by American and local troops, military chief General Gregorio Catapang said.

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S. Korea Scraps 'Christmas Tree' Tower Hated by North

South Korea said Wednesday it had dismantled a Christmas tree-shaped tower near the border with North Korea which had previously been used for a seasonal lights show that drew angry protests from the atheist regime in Pyongyang.

North Korea has repeatedly demanded the destruction of the 60-foot (20-meter) high steel tower on top of a military-controlled hill just three kilometers from the heavily-fortified border.

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Little Hope for Tunisia Election in Jihadist-Hit Kasserine

When Hisham Missaoui was seriously wounded tracking suspected al-Qaida-linked jihadists near Kasserine, his family blocked the road to the restive Tunisian city with burning tyres and rubble.

Mired in poverty, Kasserine lies at the foot of Mount Chaambi, where the army and police have since 2012 been hunting down jihadists blamed for deadly attacks on security forces.

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Pakistan's Malala Receives U.S. Liberty Medal

Malala Yousafzai, the child rights activist and youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, received the Liberty Medal Tuesday and pledged her $100,000 award to education in her homeland Pakistan.

Yousafzai won the annual prize from the National Constitution Center for her "courage and resilience in the face of adversity and for serving as a powerful voice for those who have been denied their basic human rights and liberties," the NCC said.  

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U.N.: Iraq's Yazidis Facing 'Attempted Genocide'

Iraq's Yazidi minority is facing what may amount to an "attempted genocide" at the hands of Islamist fighters, a senior U.N. rights official said Tuesday after visiting northern Iraq.

"The evidence strongly indicates attempt to commit genocide," U.N. Assistant Secretary General Ivan Simonovic said after meeting with officials and displaced people in Arbil, Baghdad and Dohuk during the week-long visit.

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Australian Lawmaker Asks ICC to Probe Asylum Policy

An independent Australian lawmaker said Wednesday he had asked the International Criminal Court to investigate Australia's hardline asylum-seeker policies as alleged "crimes against humanity".

Andrew Wilkie said he had resorted to the measure after years of attempting to change the practice of asylum-seekers who arrive by boat being sent into detention on Pacific camps.

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Father of British Hostage Cantlie Dies

The father of British photojournalist John Cantlie has died, a fortnight after making a impassioned appeal to Islamic State militants to release his son, the family said on Wednesday.

Paul Cantlie died on Thursday aged 80 from "complications following pneumonia", the family said in a statement.

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