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Tweeting The Turmoil in The Middle East

For the nearly 40,000 followers of his Twitter feed, Andy Carvin is providing a unique window into the turmoil in the Middle East.

For a media industry facing its own ferment, Carvin, who works online for National Public Radio (NPR), is offering a glimpse into journalism's future, using the Web to report the historic events in a fresh and innovative way.

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Libyan Rebels Seize Strategic Oil Town

Libyan rebels seized control of the strategic oil town of Ajdabiya on Saturday, marking their first significant victory over Colonel Moammar Gadhafi's forces since the start of the Western air strikes a week ago.

The rebels, backed by a barrage of Western bombardment, powered into the town, leaving a trail of destroyed tanks and military vehicles along the road, Agence France Presse correspondents at the scene reported.

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Iran Rejects U.N. Rights Council Call For Investigator

Iran on Friday dismissed the U.N. human rights council's appointment of an investigator to monitor abuses there for the first time since 2002, the state news agency IRNA reported.

"This resolution is unjust, unjustifiable and totally political, and has been approved despite the reticence of certain countries, under pressure from the United States," foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.

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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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