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Ban to Launch Official re-Election Campaign

Ban Ki-moon's bid for a second term at the helm of the United Nations is expected to become official Monday when he formally announces his desire to stay on as secretary general, diplomats said.

With no declared rival for the post and none of the five permanent members of the Security Council opposing Ban, the 66-year-old former South Korean foreign minister is certain to get a new five-year term, envoys said.

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U.N. Says 7,000 People a Day Still Catching AIDS

About 7,000 people are being infected with AIDS each day and about half of the 34 million people with HIV do not know they have it, according to a U.N. report released to mark the disease's 30th anniversary.

The UNAIDS agency said more money, less waste and smarter programs are urgently needed to consolidate gains made in the war on AIDS and HIV.

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Tropical 'Hotspots' May Get Too Warm to Farm

Tropical 'Hotspots' May Get Too Warm to Climate change is on track to disrupt lifeline food crops across large swathes of Africa and Asia already mired in chronic poverty, according to an international study released Friday.

More than 350 million people face a "perfect storm" of conditions for potential food disaster, warns the report by scientists in the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR).

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U.N. Denies Receiving Info about Decision to Issue Indictment in July

The U.N. Secretariat denied reports that it has information about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon or the date of the indictment’s release, An Nahar reported on Saturday.

The U.N. Secretariat spokesman said: “We have received reports published in Lebanese media regarding the release of the indictment. We confirm that the STL is an independent body and that the secretariat has no information about the indictment or its date of release.”

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France Says Ready to Host Mideast Peace Conference

France is ready to host a Middle East peace conference before the end of July to help re-launch stalled negotiations, France's Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday.

Speaking in Ramallah, Juppe warned that the current stalemate between Israel and the Palestinians was "untenable" and said France was willing to transform a July meeting of international donors into a broader peace conference.

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Williams: UNIFIL Attack Highlights Need to Form Govt

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed on Thursday the urgent need to form a cabinet that can address challenges at the security level.

“Incidents such as the attack on UNIFIL highlight the urgent need for a government in Lebanon that can address challenges at the security level,” Williams said about the roadside bomb that targeted U.N. peacekeepers in the south last Friday.

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Armed Protesters Clash with Yemen Forces in Taez, 15 Killed in Sanaa

Protesters, armed for the first time since demonstrations began in January, clashed Thursday with security forces in the flashpoint city of Taez, witnesses told Agence France Presse.

Witnesses said the clashes took place near the presidential palace and near a post held by the Republican Guard, an elite army unit loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh and led by his son Ahmed.

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U.N.: Libyan Regime, Opposition Committed 'War Crimes'

A U.N. panel on Wednesday accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's regime of carrying out systematic attacks on the population, saying that it committed not only war crimes but also crimes against humanity.

While it found fewer reports of violations by the opposition, the commission of inquiry set up by the U.N. Human Rights Council also found that rebel forces committed acts that constituted war crimes.

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Britain: Syria Must Be Reported to U.N. over Nuke Claims

Britain believes that Syria should be reported to the U.N. Security Council over its alleged illicit nuclear activity, Britain's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said Wednesday.

In a restricted report circulated to member states last week, the U.N. watchdog said it was "very likely" that a remote desert site in Syria bombed by Israeli planes in 2007 was indeed a covert nuclear reactor, as alleged by the United States.

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NATO Extends Libya Campaign Until Late September

NATO allies agreed Wednesday to extend its military campaign in Libya for another 90 days until late September, the alliance said.

"NATO and partners have just decided to extend our mission for Libya for another 90 days," said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen.

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