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Palestinian Refugees Force Closure of U.N. Offices

Hundreds of Palestinian refugees seeking better medical services on Wednesday forced the shutdown of two U.N. offices in southern Lebanon and staged a sit-in to press their demands.

About 500 refugees converged on the UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees) office in the coastal town of Tyre and asked employees to leave the premises before erecting a tent outside the building and holding a sit-in, an Agence France Presse correspondent witnessed.

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Lebanon Files U.N. Complaint over Attack on Embassy in Libya, Miqati Briefs Suleiman on Govt Formation Consultations

President Michel Suleiman condemned on Saturday the attack on the Lebanese Embassy in Libya and the burning of the Lebanese flag.

He said: "It is a blatant attack on Lebanon's sovereignty."

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Paris: Lebanon to Try Swaying Opponents of Libya No-Fly Zone

The U.N. Security Council on Monday held talks on Libya, as France said it hoped that Arab League support for a no-fly zone would be a "game-changer" in securing international action.

As he entered the talks, French envoy to the Security Council Gerard Araud said Lebanon -- as the current Arab representative on the Security Council -- would also be working to sway opponents of a no-fly zone, led by China and Russia.

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Japan Nuclear Plant Rocked by Second Blast, Reactor Undamaged

The primary containment vessel at the quake-damaged Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan was not damaged in an explosion there Monday, the U.N. atomic watchdog IAEA said.

"Japan’s Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency (NISA) has provided the IAEA with further information about the hydrogen explosion that occurred today at the Unit 3 reactor at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant," the International Atomic Energy Agency said in a statement.

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World Powers Press Iran to Cooperate with IAEA

World powers urged Iran to cooperate with the U.N. atomic watchdog Wednesday, otherwise it could soon face further censure for blocking the investigation into its controversial nuclear drive.

"We call on Iran to cooperate fully with the (International Atomic Energy) Agency," the so-called P5+1 grouping said in their first joint statement to the IAEA's board of governors in two years.

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Williams Warns of Dangers that Could Result from Political Vacuum

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams stressed the importance of forming the cabinet to confront several challenges including the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s upcoming indictment.

In an interview published in As Safir newspaper Wednesday, Williams warned of the dangers of a power vacuum if the formation of the cabinet takes more time.

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Gulf States Call for U.N. No-Fly Zone over Libya, Urgent Arab Summit

Gulf Arab states announced their support for imposing a no-fly zone over Libya in a statement on Monday, amid divisions among the major powers over military intervention in the North African nation.

"The Gulf Cooperation Council demands that the U.N. Security Council take all necessary measures to protect civilians, including enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya," the six-nation bloc's statement said.

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Iran, Syria in Hot Seat at U.N. Atomic Watchdog Meet

Iran and Syria found themselves in the spotlight Monday as the U.N. nuclear watchdog convened for its traditional week-long spring meeting.

The International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-member board of governors was set to discuss two new reports showing little or no progress in the watchdog's long-running investigations into Iran's controversial atomic program and allegations of illicit nuclear activity on the part of Syria.

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Britain, France Preparing U.N. Resolution on Libya No-Fly Zone

British Foreign Secretary William Hague confirmed Monday that Britain was working to draft a U.N. resolution on a no-fly zone over Libya to counter Moammar Gadhafi's offensive against rebels, but said it must have regional support and a "clear legal basis".

"At the U.N. Security Council we are working closely with partners on a contingency basis on elements of a resolution on a no-fly zone, making clear the need for regional support, a clear trigger for such a resolution and an appropriate legal basis," Hague told lawmakers in the House of Commons.

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Williams: Government Formation Shouldn’t Overshadow Security Issues

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams expressed hope on Friday that the government formation process “would not overshadow the issues that affect the daily lives of Lebanese people, especially in the field of security.”

“I expressed my belief as the U.N. Special Coordinator that any new government should try to meet the aspirations of all the Lebanese people,” Williams said following talks with caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud.

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