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U.N. Welcomes Bahrain Probe of Unrest

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon welcomed Thursday a move by Bahrain to launch a probe to investigate the violent repression of pro-democracy protests, but stressed its independence was key.

The secretary-general "welcomes this development and underscores that the commission should be granted full access to all individuals, organizations and information relevant to the investigation," his spokesperson said.

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Ban Urges ‘All States’ to Cooperate with STL, Copy of Indictment to be Submitted to him ‘Soon’

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has reiterated his “strong support” for the international tribunal, which has submitted to the Lebanese authorities a sealed indictment and arrest warrants in the case of ex-PM Rafik Hariri’s assassination.

The secretary general calls on “all states to support the independent judicial process, in particular by cooperating with the Special Tribunal in the execution of the indictment and arrest warrants," said a statement issued by his spokesperson on Thursday.

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Key Events in Lebanon since Hariri’s Assassination

A U.N.-backed court probing the 2005 murder of Lebanon's ex-premier Rafik Hariri on Thursday submitted a sealed indictment and arrest warrants to the country's prosecutor general, Lebanese officials said.

Here are some key events in since Hariri's assassination:

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Frequently Asked Questions about Special Tribunal for Lebanon

Below are the most frequently asked questions about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as published on the court's website.

The STL was set up in The Hague in 2007 by the United Nations to try those alleged to have carried out the bomb attack that assassinated former PM Rafik Hariri.

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Miqati’s Sources Deny Pressure on Diplomats to Delay Indictment

Sources close to Premier Najib Miqati denied that he was exerting efforts through contacts with top diplomats to delay the release of the indictment by the international tribunal.

“This is untrue,” the sources told An Nahar daily published Wednesday about information that Miqati was seeking to postpone the announcement of the indictment’s details.

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Worse Drought in 60 Years Hits 10 Million in Horn of Africa

Ten million people in the Horn of Africa have been hit by the worst drought in 60 years, with the situation deteriorating to the point of famine in some areas, the U.N. said Tuesday.

"Over 10 million people are affected by the drought in one way or other," said Elisabeth Byrs, spokeswoman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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Lieberman: Flotilla Smaller Due to Israeli Pressure

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that Israel's diplomatic and political efforts to curb the size of a new Gaza-bound aid flotilla had been successful.

Speaking to public radio by telephone from Zagreb where he is on a visit, Lieberman said it was thanks to Israeli efforts that there were only 10 ships planning to set sail from Greece later this week.

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Cambodian Court Opens Landmark K. Rouge Trial

Four top Khmer Rouge leaders went on trial at Cambodia's U.N.-backed war crimes court on Monday for genocide and other atrocities during the hard line communist regime's reign of terror in the 1970s.

The case, described as the most complex since the Nazi trials after World War II, has been long awaited by victims of the totalitarian movement, which wiped out nearly a quarter of the population.

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Williams Reminds Miqati of U.N. Chief’s Expectations from his Cabinet

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams reiterated on Monday that U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon expects the new cabinet to announce its full commitment to international resolutions.

“I reiterated my expectation and the expectation of the Secretary-General that the government will restate its full support and commitment to the full implementation of 1701 in its ministerial declaration,” Williams said following talks with Prime Minister Najib Miqati at the Grand Serail.

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Mofaz Warns Palestinian Statehood Bid 'Could Lead to War'

A unilateral Palestinian bid for statehood in September could lead to fresh conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and destabilize the whole region, a senior Israeli politician has warned.

In an interview with Agence France Presse, Shaul Mofaz, who heads the powerful parliamentary Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, said he would urge French leaders not to support the bid during a visit to Paris on Monday.

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