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Clinton Says 'Hizbullah-Controlled' Govt Will Affect U.S.-Lebanon Ties

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that a Hizbullah-controlled government in Lebanon would "clearly have an impact" on ties with the United States.

The comments came after Hizbullah-backed Najib Miqati was named Lebanon's prime minister-designate, giving the Iran- and Syria-backed armed group increased leverage in the deeply divided country to the anger of many Sunnis.

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Feltman to Paris Wednesday for Talks on Lebanon, Tunisia

The top-ranking U.S. envoy for the Middle East, Jeffrey Feltman, said he would travel to France on Wednesday for talks on the situation in Lebanon and Tunisia, following a visit to Tunis.

"I'm going to meet with the French tomorrow to talk about Tunisia and Lebanon," he told reporters in Tunis.

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Japan Rocket Carries Supplies to Space Station

A Japanese rocket carrying supplies for the International Space Station successfully lifted off from a remote island Saturday on a mission designed to help fill a hole left by the retirement of NASA's space shuttle program.

The unmanned rocket was carrying nearly 6 tons of food, water, clothing and experimental equipment to the astronauts in orbit in the space station, an international project involving 15 nations. The rocket also was carrying cargo for NASA.

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With Term Half Done, Obama Seeks Second

U.S. President Barack Obama passed the halfway point of his four-year term Thursday and revealed he is already plotting to win a second, boosted by a sudden upswing in popularity.

Obama's spokesman Robert Gibbs divulged the worst-kept secret in Washington, saying that his boss would "likely" ask voters to send him back to the White House in 2012.

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U.S.: Khamenei Doesn't Have Authority Over Tribunal

The United States slammed Iranian Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei over his rejection of any ruling by the international tribunal investigating the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Khamenei "does not have the authority over the tribunal. It was convened by the United Nations," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

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U.S. Diplomat Richard Holbrooke Dies at 69

Richard Holbrooke, a brilliant and feisty U.S. diplomat who wrote part of the Pentagon Papers, was the architect of the 1995 Bosnia peace plan and served as President Barack Obama's special envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, died Monday, the State Department said. He was 69.

Calling Holbrooke "a true giant of American foreign policy," Obama paid homage to the veteran diplomat as "a truly unique figure who will be remembered for his tireless diplomacy, love of country, and pursuit of peace." Holbrooke deserves credit for much of the progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the president said.

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Biden Reaffirms to Hariri U.S. Commitment to Lebanese Sovereignty

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has assured Prime Minister Saad Hariri of U.S. support as a U.N. tribunal probes the 2005 assassination of his father stoking tensions in Lebanon.

Biden "spoke by phone today (Friday) with... Hariri to discuss recent developments in Lebanon and the region," the White House said in a statement, adding the vice president "reaffirmed the administration’s commitment to Lebanon’s sovereignty, independence, and stability."

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U.S. Says It's Committed to Defend SKorea, Vows More Joint Drills

The top U.S. military officer on Wednesday warned North Korea that the U.S. commitment to helping South Korea defend itself is "unquestioned," even as he pressed China to use its influence to push its ally Pyongyang to change.

Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, called recent North Korean aggression, including an artillery attack last month that killed four South Koreans, "belligerent, reckless behavior." He said China appeared unwilling to use its enormous leverage to rein in the North.

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WikiLeaks: Hariri Afraid Next Israel War Would Kill March 14

Prime Minister Saad Hariri told former U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison he feared another war with Israel would mean the "death" of his pro-Western March 14 alliance, leaked cables showed Monday.

A document reportedly obtained by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks and published on the website of local daily al-Akhbar quoted Hariri as saying he believed Hizbullah would rise again should there be another round of violence.

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U.S. Rejects Compromises on Tribunal

U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Susan Rice has stressed that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon should not be compromised on.

Rice said it was important to remember that the Lebanese government and the people are the ones who asked for the establishment of the tribunal.

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