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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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Miqati Surprised by Bellemare's Requests after Draft Indictment Submittal

Premier-designate Najib Miqati said Thursday he had information suggesting that some parties were urging world powers to issue a U.N. Security Council resolution under Chapter 7, after four Lebanese ministers turned down requests from the Special Tribunal for Lebanon prosecutor to provide information and documents, Al-Manar TV reported.

Al-Manar quoted Miqati as saying that he was surprised by STL Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare's recent requests given that a draft indictment had been already submitted by Bellemare to STL Pre-Trial Judge Daniel Fransen on January 17.

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50 Killed in Ivory Coast Violence in a Week, Says U.N.

Fifty people have been killed in Ivory Coast violence over the past week, including 26 in an Abidjan district that has witnessed fierce clashes, the U.N. mission said here Thursday.

"Fifty people have been killed in a week," a U.N. mission official told Agence France Presse of bloodshed in violence since mid-December linked to a dispute over the results of the November presidential election.

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Report: Bellemare Requested Fingerprints of 4 Million Lebanese

The Beirut office of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon’s Prosecutor has reportedly asked the interior ministry to provide it with the fingerprints of 4 million Lebanese.

As Safir daily said Thursday that after reviewing laws, the ministry provided Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare with only several hundred fingerprints.

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Libyan Rebels Repel Deadly Gadhafi Offensive, Call for U.N. Airstrikes

Libyan rebels fought intense battles to repel Moammar Gadhafi's forces from the key eastern oil port of Brega Wednesday as the regime's biggest counter-offensive yet left at least 10 people dead.

Opposition fighters said they had finally pushed Gadhafi's men out of the town on the Mediterranean coast after a day of chaotic clashes, even as a government fighter jet fired two missiles near their victory celebrations.

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U.N. Suspends Libya from Human Rights Council

The United Nations on Tuesday suspended Libya from its main human rights body over Moammar Gadhafi's crackdown on protests as the Security Council warned of new action against his regime.

Britain's U.N. envoy said the council would take "whatever measures we consider necessary to respond to events on the ground."

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Clinton Calls for Further Steps to End Libya Violence

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged the international community Monday to work together on further steps to end the crisis in Libya, adding that Washington was keeping all options on the table.

"We all need to work together on further steps to hold the Gadhafi government accountable, provide humanitarian assistance to those in need and support the Libyan people as they pursue a transition to democracy," she told the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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U.N. Human Rights Council Recommends Libya Exclusion, Decides to Probe Violations

The U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously called Friday for Libya to be suspended from the body and for a probe into violations by the regime, in a dramatic session which witnessed the defection of Tripoli's envoy.

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the 47-member U.N. body decided to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry ... to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya."

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