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Williams Meets al-Rahi, Miqati: We Look Forward to the Early Government Formation

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams held talks on Thursday with Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi, during which he welcomed his calls for openness and dialogue with other religions and other countries.

He said after the meeting: “I told him that the slogan of ‘Partnership and Love’ he has chosen was very timely and essential in this period of turbulence in the Arab region.”

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Paris: Ivory Coast's Gbagbo Negotiating His Surrender, Crisis May End within Hours

Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo hunkered down in a bunker at his home Tuesday after being cornered by his arch rival's followers, as his own forces silenced their weapons and asked for a ceasefire.

Having resisted calls to cede power to internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara for four months, Gbagbo was now trying to strike a deal to quit, according to the former colonial power France.

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‘Carnival King’ Elected as Haiti’s New President

Michel Martelly, a carnival singer with a colorful past who seized the mantle of change, is Haiti's new president after storming to a landslide victory, preliminary results showed.

The 50-year-old faces the huge challenge of rebuilding the Caribbean nation, which was the poorest country in the Americas even before a January 2010 earthquake flattened the capital Port-au-Prince and killed more than 225,000 people.

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Iran Asks Ban to Stop West 'Intervention' in Region

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a telephone conversation has asked the U.N. chief to stop U.S. and Europe "intervention" in the region, the website of his office reported on Monday.

"The intervention of some European countries and America in the regional nations increases concern and makes circumstances more complicated," Ahmadinejad was quoted as telling U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

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Lebanon Resorts to U.N. for Help as Lebanese Flee to Dakar from Ivory Coast Violence

Lebanon’s ambassador to the U.N. Nawaf Salam will ask Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to deploy more U.N. troops in cities in the Ivory Coast where most Lebanese are concentrated and help them overcome the difficult conditions in the violence-torn country.

Salam told Speaker Nabih Berri during a telephone conversation that he would meet with Ban on Monday.

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Peacekeepers Take Control of Airport in Abidjan

Peacekeepers have taken control of the airport in Abidjan as forces loyal to the country's rival presidents’ struggle for control of Ivory Coast's main city, the French military said Sunday.

France has also boosted its Licorne (Unicorn) peacekeeping mission in the cocoa-rich nation by 300 to around 1,400 troops, where part of their mission is to protect foreigners from attacks and looting amid rising insecurity.

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U.S. Demands Gbagbo Step Down 'Immediately'

The United States early Sunday called on Ivory Coast strongman Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately, saying he was pushing the West African nation into lawlessness.

"The United States calls on former President Laurent Gbagbo to step down immediately," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a statement.

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Gbagbo's Supporters Accused of Massacres in Ivory Coast

Mass graves have allegedly been found in western Ivory Coast as a picture emerged Saturday of carnage amid fierce post-election battles, which the ICRC said claimed 800 lives in a single day.

The government of internationally recognized president Alassane Ouattara said numerous mass graves had been found, "especially in Toulepleu, Blolequin and Guiglo, whose authors are none other than the loyal forces, mercenaries and militias of Laurent Gbagbo."

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Facebook Sued for $1 Billion Over ‘Third Intifada’ Page

Facebook and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg have been hit with a lawsuit seeking more than $1 billion in damages over a page on the social network which called for a "Third Intifada" against Israel.

Facebook this week shut down the "Third Intifada" page, which had almost 500,000 fans, but the lawsuit filed in a court here claims that the social network showed "negligence" by not quickly responding to appeals to remove the page.

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World Powers Move Towards Gadhafi Exile Plan, ‘Regime Lost Legitimacy’

International powers meeting in London on Tuesday edged closer to an exile plan for embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as France said it was ready to discuss military aid for rebels.

More than 40 countries and organizations, including the United Nations and NATO, agreed to create a contact group to map out a future for Libya and to meet again as soon as possible in the Arab state of Qatar.

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