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Williams Expresses Concern to Miqati that Cabinet Formation Taking Time

U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Michael Williams on Wednesday expressed support for Premier-designate Najib Miqati lamenting that the cabinet formation process was taking a long time.

“I take this opportunity to express my strong support for Najib Miqati as Prime Minister-designate and his endeavors to form a new government,” Williams said after holding talks with Miqati.

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U.N. Rights Expert Hails 'Power' of Internet

A U.N. human rights expert has marked World Press Freedom Day by hailing the epoch-making power of the Internet and the role online social networking has played in uprisings in the Middle East.

"As one activist tweeted during the protests in Egypt, 'we use Facebook to schedule the protests, Twitter to coordinate, and YouTube to tell the world'," said Frank La Rue, U.N. special rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression.

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Gadhafi Regime Accused by UN of Giving Viagra to Troops

The United States on Thursday raised allegations that Moammer Gadhafi's regime gives Viagra to troops to carry out rapes as the UN Security Council wrangled over coalition attacks in Libya, diplomats said.

Russia and other nations have argued that France, Britain, the United States and their allies patrolling a no-fly zone over Libya are going beyond the mandate given by U.N. Security Council resolutions.

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HRW Seeks U.N. Probe into Syria Crackdown on Protesters

Human Rights Watch on Friday called for the United Nations Human Rights Council to investigate the deadly crackdown on protesters in Syria and to "strongly condemn repression of peaceful protests."

"Syria’s President Bashar Assad needs to hear an unequivocal message from the Human Rights Council that violent suppression of peaceful protests is unacceptable and will have consequences," said Julie de Rivero, Geneva director at Human Rights Watch.

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Shami Did Not Contact Hariri Regarding Lebanon’s Position at Security Council

A Foreign Ministry source told Akhbar al-Yawm news agency that caretaker Foreign Minister Ali Shami will continue on coordinating his positions with Speaker Nabih Berri, while protocol requires him to consult with the prime minister and president.

This position came in light of Shami’s request on Tuesday from Lebanon’s Ambassador to the U.N. Nawwaf Salam not to approve a Security Council statement condemning the use of violence against protestors in Syria.

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March 14: March 8 Camp is Afraid to Form a Government and its Excuses Demonstrate its Failure

March 14 General Secretariat coordinator Fares Soaid criticized on Wednesday Speaker Nabih Berri’s recent statements on Syria, saying that they “involve Lebanon in Syria’s internal affairs in a very dangerous manner.”

He said after the general secretariat’s weekly meeting: “His statements expose Lebanon on all levels and we question such remarks seeing as they were issued from a man of state such as Nabih Berri.”

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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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