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EU to Discuss Syria Sanctions Friday; 5 Syrian Ambassadors Summoned

Five EU countries are summoning Syria's ambassadors over its violent crackdown on protestors, France said Wednesday, saying it had been joined in the move by Britain, Germany, Italy and Spain.

Foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said Foreign Minister Alain Juppe's chief of staff met with Syrian ambassador Lamia Shakkur on Tuesday "as part of a coordinated move with Britain, Germany, Spain and Italy".

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Shami Calls on Salam Not to Approve Security Council Statement on Syria

Caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami called on Lebanon’s ambassador to the United Nations Nawwaf Salam to reject the Security Council’s expected draft statement on the developments on Syria.

The U.N. will discuss Syria later Tuesday.

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Condemnation Mounts of Syria Crackdown

International condemnation of Syria mounted Saturday after its security forces reportedly killed more than 80 people in one of the bloodiest days of a month-long uprising.

Russia, Italy and Greece joined the chorus of criticism which includes U.S. President Barack Obama and U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, as well as France and the European parliament.

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U.N. Chief Hits Out at Syria Killings

U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon condemned the Syrian government for the killing of scores of demonstrators on Friday and renewed calls for a "transparent" independent investigation.

"The secretary-general condemns the ongoing violence against peaceful demonstrators in Syria, which again has killed and injured many today, and calls for it to stop immediately," said U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq.

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Hizbullah Slams Ban's 'Unjust' Remarks, Vows to Continue Protecting Lebanon

Hizbullah on Thursday hit back at U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon over statements contained in his annual report on the implementation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559.

“It is not something new for the U.N. secretary general to take unjust and unfair stances in his analysis of the situation in Lebanon, especially in terms of holding Hizbullah responsible for all the problems in Lebanon,” the party said in a communiqué.

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April 26, 1:23 AM: The Minute Chernobyl Shook The World

It was the early hours of April 26, 1986 and operators at the Chernobyl nuclear power station in the Soviet republic of Ukraine were to carry out an electrical power test at reactor number four.

The test, which repeated one carried out the previous year, was to take advantage of a planned shutdown of the reactor for routine maintenance and the lowering of its power had already started the previous afternoon.

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Gadhafi's Son: 'We Didn't Commit Any Crime'

Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, son of the Libyan leader who is battling a rebellion, claimed "we didn't commit any crime against our people," in an interview with The Washington Post reported Sunday.

The 38-year-old Saif Gadhafi told the Post in an hour-long interview in Tripoli that evidence of Libyan forces firing on anti-government demonstrators is false, likening it to reports of pre-war Iraq hiding weapons of mass destruction.

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Hoff in Fleeting Visit to Lebanon, U.N. Awaiting Israel’s Position on Demarcating Maritime Border

U.S. Special Middle East Peace Envoy's assistant, Frederick Hoff, paid a quick visit to Beirut on Thursday during which he met with a delegation from the army command to discuss matters related to the Lebanese-Israeli maritime border and the security situation in southern Lebanon, reported the daily An Nahar Friday.

The military delegation informed him that Lebanon is entitled to demarcate its maritime border, and therefore it has no intention to relinquish this right, said As Safir on Friday.

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Williams Meets Baroud, Hopes New Government Will be Formed in a Few Weeks’ Time

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams hoped on Monday that a new government would be formed in a few weeks’ time in order for it to tackle the recent security unrest in the country, among other matters.

He said after holding talks with Caretaker Interior Minister Ziad Baroud that this issue should be at Lebanese politicians’ main concern.

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More than 100 Bodies Found in West Ivory Coast

U.N. investigators have found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours in western Ivory Coast in what appeared to have been ethnically driven killings, the U.N. human rights office said Friday.

"The human rights team investigating... in west Cote d'Ivoire found more than 100 bodies in the past 24 hours in three locations," said Rupert Colville, spokesman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

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