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U.S. Middle East Envoy Resigning, Hale to Replace Mitchell

President Barack Obama Friday announced his "tireless" envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, was resigning, but vowed the U.S. administration remained committed to the faltering peace process.

Describing Mitchell as having taken on "the toughest job imaginable," Obama paid tribute to the veteran diplomat who had "worked grueling hours to advance the interests of the United States and the cause of peace."

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Connelly Meets Miqati, Hopes New Govt Will Uphold STL Support

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly on Thursday held talks with Prime Minister-designate Najib Miqati and discussed with him the U.S. administration’s “developing view on the dramatic events that have occurred and continue to occur in the region,” the U.S. Embassy said in a statement after the meeting.

“Connelly expressed the U.S. government’s view that the governments of the region ought to listen to their people, refrain from violence, and engage in political dialogue in order to insure that the legitimate changes and reforms they demand can begin to be implemented,” according to the embassy’s statement.

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Clinton Says Syria's Use of Force 'a Sign of Weakness' as Regime Crushes Dissent ‘Town by Town’

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday blasted Syria's use of strength as "a sign of remarkable weakness" at a news conference in the Greenland capital.

Syria's repression of protests "is a sign of remarkable weakness," Clinton told reporters at an Arctic Council meeting, stressing Syria continued with "a brutal crackdown" on demonstrators despite overwhelming international condemnation.

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Security Tightened for Obama's Kenyan Family

Kenya has tightened security around the home of U.S. President Barack Obama's step-grandmother after the killing of Osama bin Laden, an official said Thursday.

"In the wake of security challenges including terror threats, I can confirm that we decided to enhance security at the home of Mama Sarah ...," said regional administrator Francis Mutie, using the popular name for Obama's step-grandmother who lives in western Kenya.

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Pakistan Denies 'Absurd' Accusations as U.S. Rejects Criticism of Bin Laden Raid

Pakistan's prime minister on Monday dismissed as "absurd" accusations that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden must have benefited from official complicity or incompetence to hide out in his country.

Addressing parliament in his first comments since bin Laden was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs a week ago less than a mile from a top military academy, Yousuf Raza Gilani promised an investigation, to be led by a top Pakistani general.

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U.S. Embassy Empowers Young Lebanese Student Athletes

The U.S. embassy hosted a group of 300 Lebanese boys and girls from the Bekaa valley for a day of basketball, festival games and music at the Saint Coeurs School in downtown Zahle, an embassy statement said.

The students competed in a medley of basketball events to demonstrate the fundamental skills that they have developed through the embassy’s 2010-11 Sports United Youth Basketball Program.

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Obama Says Bin Laden Had 'Support Network' in Pakistan

Osama bin Laden had a "support network" in Pakistan but it is not clear if the Pakistani government was involved, U.S. President Barack Obama said in his first public comments on the issue.

The fact that bin Laden turned up in leafy Abbottabad, home to the Pakistani equivalent of the West Point and Sandhurst military academies, just two hours' drive north of Islamabad, has been greeted with incredulity.

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Candid Videos Show Rare View of bin Laden

From a shabby, makeshift office, he ran a global terrorist empire. The world's most wanted man watched newscasts of himself from a tiny television perched atop a rickety old desk cluttered with wires.

For years, the world only saw the 54-year-old Osama bin Laden in the rare propaganda videos that trickled out, the ones portraying him as a charismatic religious figure unfazed by being the target of a worldwide manhunt.

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Al-Qaida Confirms bin Laden Death and Vows Revenge

The al-Qaida terror network confirmed the death of its leader Osama bin Laden Friday and swore revenge for his killing by elite U.S. commandos, the SITE monitoring group reported.

In a statement posted on jihadist Internet forums, the Islamist group behind the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States said it would release an audio tape made by its Saudi-born founder a week before his death.

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Pakistan Army Admits 'Shortcomings' on bin Laden Intel

Pakistan's military on Thursday demanded the U.S. cut its troop presence in the country to a "minimum" as the fallout from the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden intensified.

After days of questions in Washington over how bin Laden could find shelter in the town of Abbottabad, army chief of staff General Ashfaq Kayani threatened to "review" cooperation with the U.S. in the event of another similar raid.

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