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France, Norway Withdraw Aircraft Carrier and Fighter Jets from Libya

France said Thursday its aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle would return home for maintenance next week from the NATO-led mission over Libya, but insisted there would be no respite for Moammar Gadhafi.

The vessel, France's only aircraft carrier and Europe's biggest warship, will leave on August 10 to head for its home port of Toulon for several weeks of work, defense minister Gerard Longuet told Var-Matin newspaper.

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Parliament Gives Lebanon Right to Explore Maritime Resources

Parliament approved on Thursday a draft law on the delineation of Lebanon’s maritime border after introducing an amendment to article 6, two days after the cabinet’s adoption of the decree.

The adoption of the law comes amid a dispute between Lebanon and Israel over their maritime boundary. Both countries are moving to assert sovereignty over an area potentially rich in gas.

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March 14: Lebanon’s Disavowal of U.N. Statement on Syria is ‘Disgraceful’

Lebanon’s disavowal of a U.N. Security Council statement condemning Syria's deadly attacks on civilians is “shameful,” high-ranking March 14 sources said.

The sources told An Nahar daily published Thursday that “despite the unanimity of the other 14 members of the Security Council on the statement, Lebanon’s disavowal is a shameful and disgraceful stance.”

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U.N., U.S. Targets of Major Cyber Spying Campaign

Over 70 organizations including the United Nations and major U.S. defense groups have been targets of a global cyber spying effort, according to security firm McAfee, with analysts pointing to China as the culprit, the Washington Post said Wednesday.

Targets for the intrusions -- identified from logs tracked to a single server -- included computer networks of the United Nations secretariat, a U.S. Energy Department lab, and some dozen U.S. defense firms, said the McAfee report to be released Wednesday, according to the Post.

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Troubled Waters Dispute between Lebanon, Israel Heats Up

A dispute between Lebanon and Israel over their maritime boundary has heated up and sparked fears of conflict as both countries move to assert sovereignty over an area potentially rich in gas.

Tension rose last month after Israel's cabinet approved a map of the country's proposed maritime borders with Lebanon and submitted it to the United Nations, which has been asked to mediate.

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French Debate over Decreasing Size of Contingent in UNIFIL

France might decrease its presence in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) after the attack that targeted its contingents in the southern city of sidon, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Three French U.N. peacekeepers were wounded last week in a roadside bombing near Sidon, and another three suffered hearing problems.

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Security Council Struggles with Syria Crisis

The U.N. Security Council struggled Tuesday through negotiations on how to respond to the Syria crisis that Russia's envoy warned was veering toward civil war.

Divisions remained among the 15 nations on the wording of any condemnation of President Bashar Assad's crackdown on protests and whether it should be a formal resolution or a less weighty statement.

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Israel Crosses Technical Fence Again, Files Complaint with U.N.

An Israeli ten-member patrol entered 30 meters deep into Lebanese territories near the southern town of Mais al-Jabal 24 hours after a shooting incident between the two sides, pan-Arab daily al-Hayat reported Wednesday.

The newspaper said that the patrol crossed the technical fence and entered the area around 1:30 pm Tuesday. It stayed there for around half an hour after searching olive groves.

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Security Council Meets Again on Syria, Ban Says Assad 'Lost All Humanity'

The U.N. Security Council began a second day of talks on Syria Tuesday after President Bashar al-Assad's tanks shelled the protest hub of Hama on the opening day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

At least 24 civilians were reported killed across the country on Monday, among them 10 during protests after special evening prayers, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights chief Rami Abdul Rahman said.

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Miqati Urges U.N. to End Israeli Violations, Says Lebanon Will Defend its Rights

Prime Minister Najib Miqati expressed fear on Tuesday over the ongoing Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty, urging the United Nations to demand Israel to implement Security Council resolution 1701.

Miqati stressed after meeting with U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams that Lebanon will defend its rights and protect its sovereignty with all the available means.

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