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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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Israel Plots Ways to Repel New Gaza Flotilla

Israel's security cabinet was to convene on Monday for a second day of discussions on how to stave off an international flotilla intending to breach the naval blockade of Gaza, local media said.

On Sunday, ministers in the forum were told of the military's preparations for the 10-ship convoy which is expected to set sail from Greece later this week.

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Libyan Regime Accuses NATO of Killing 15 People in Brega

NATO came under verbal fire again on Saturday from Moammar Gadhafi's regime, which accused it of killing 15 more people in strikes on civilian sites in the eastern city of Brega, a claim promptly denied by the alliance.

Meanwhile, three powerful explosions struck the eastern Tripoli suburb of Tajura, where a number of military installations are located, and columns of smoke could be seen from the center of the capital.

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Israel Marks 5 Years Since Capture of Shalit

Hundreds of Israelis gathered near the Gaza border on Saturday at the site where Palestinian militants seized Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in a deadly raid five years ago.

The protest was being held to mark five years that Shalit has been in captivity and comes amid mounting international calls for the Islamist Hamas movement to release him or at least provide proof of life.

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Iran Protests New U.S. Sanctions, Says ‘Measures Extremely Dangerous’

Iran protested to the United Nations on Friday over the latest sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, calling the measures "extremely dangerous" and aiming to harm civilians.

Iran's U.N. Ambassador Mohammad Khazaei said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that "continuation of this awkward (U.S.) policy is extremely dangerous and will never serve to the maintenance of international peace and security."

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Lebanon’s U.N. Staff Follow Code of Conduct to Protect Rights of Domestic Workers

The United Nations Country Team in Lebanon has announced a code of conduct for U.N. staff if they employ domestic workers, just one week after international standards were adopted by the International Labor Organization to protect their rights.

The code of conduct, the first initiative of its kind by a UNCT in the Middle East, requires the staff to abide by 21 specific standards regarding the employment of domestic workers.

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Report: Gadhafi Considering Leaving Capital

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is "seriously considering" leaving the capital Tripoli following a blistering series of NATO air raids, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing U.S. officials.

U.S. intelligence shows that the Libyan strongman "doesn't feel safe anymore" in the capital where he has ruled for over four decades, the Journal quoted a senior U.S. national security official as saying.

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Roknabadi: 4 Kidnapped Iranian Diplomats Alive in Israeli Jails

Iran’s ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi said on Thursday that four Iranian diplomats, seized in 1982 by a Christian militia in Lebanon, are still alive and being held in Israel.

“We believe that they are alive in Israeli jails. That’s why we have asked the Lebanese government to seriously follow-up the issue,” Roknabadi said following talks with Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour.

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Gadhafi Says Fight Continues against ‘Crusaders’

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi issued a defiant audio message late Wednesday saying he had his "back to the wall" but did not fear death, and the battle against the Western "crusaders" would continue "to the beyond."

"We will resist and the battle will continue to the beyond, until you're wiped out. But we will not be finished," Gadhafi said in the message broadcast on Libyan television in homage to his comrade Khuwildi Hemidi, several members of whose family were killed Monday in NATO raids on his residence.

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