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U.N. Human Rights Chief Urges Syria to Halt Assault on People

The U.N. human rights chief on Thursday urged Syria to halt an assault on its people, saying that it was "deplorable for any government to attempt to bludgeon its population into submission."

"We are receiving an increasing number of alarming reports pointing to the Syrian government's continuing efforts to ruthlessly crush civilian protests," said Navi Pillay, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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India Gears Up for Maiden 'Slut Walk'

Skimpily dressed women will take to the streets of New Delhi later this month for India's first "Slut Walk", a global phenomenon to protest sexual violence.

The capital is India's most dangerous city for women where leering and harassment are a daily menace and a woman is raped every 18 hours or molested every 14 hours, according to the latest police figures.

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Britain Backs Ban for 2nd Term as U.N. Chief

Britain is supporting Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term as U.N. chief, becoming the fourth permanent member of the U.N. Security Council to back him, Prime Minister David Cameron said on Wednesday.

"I am glad to support Ban Ki-moon in his candidacy for a second term as Secretary General of the United Nations," Cameron said in a statement.

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Clinton Heads to UAE for Talks on Libya

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton left here Wednesday for Abu Dhabi to consult with countries backing military action in Libya and looking at more ways to help the Libyan opposition.

The talks in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) capital on Thursday come after President Barack Obama said NATO's mission in Libya was forging "inexorable" advances that meant it was only a matter of time before defiant Moammar Gadhafi's departure.

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White House: Obama Backs Ban for 2nd U.N. Term

U.S. President Barack Obama is supporting U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon for a second five-year term at the helm of the 192-member organization, the White House said Tuesday.

"President Obama welcomes United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's announcement that he will run for a second term, and the United States supports his candidacy," a White House statement said.

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Armed Dissidents Overrun Yemen's city of Taez

Armed dissidents have seized control of most of Yemen's second largest city Taez, following clashes with troops loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a top tribal chief said Tuesday.

"I consider Taez to have fallen under the control" of the dissidents, Sheikh Hammoud Saeed al-Mikhlafi, the head of the tribal council in Taez told Agence France Presse by telephone.

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Ban Expresses ‘Deep Concern’, Calls for Restraint after Golan Clashes

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon called Monday on all parties in the Arab-Israeli conflict to exercise "maximum restraint" and expressed "deep concern" about the shooting on the Golan Heights.

"The secretary-general regrets the loss of life, and extends his condolences to the families of the victims," said statement by Ban's spokesman.

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U.N. Atomic Watchdog Meets on Syria, Iran over ‘Nuclear Activity’

The U.N. atomic watchdog opens a week-long meeting here Monday, with the United States and its western allies looking to pass a resolution against Syria over its alleged illicit nuclear activity.

The traditional June session of the International Atomic Energy Agency's 35-member board of governors has a heavy agenda, ranging from the upcoming two-year budget to the nuclear disaster in Japan.

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Ban to Launch Official re-Election Campaign

Ban Ki-moon's bid for a second term at the helm of the United Nations is expected to become official Monday when he formally announces his desire to stay on as secretary general, diplomats said.

With no declared rival for the post and none of the five permanent members of the Security Council opposing Ban, the 66-year-old former South Korean foreign minister is certain to get a new five-year term, envoys said.

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U.N. Says 7,000 People a Day Still Catching AIDS

About 7,000 people are being infected with AIDS each day and about half of the 34 million people with HIV do not know they have it, according to a U.N. report released to mark the disease's 30th anniversary.

The UNAIDS agency said more money, less waste and smarter programs are urgently needed to consolidate gains made in the war on AIDS and HIV.

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