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Russia Rebuffs U.S. Call for New Arms Talks

Russia said Monday it was premature to set the date for a new round of nuclear disarmament talks on the short-range missiles whose reduction is sought by the United States.

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration is keen to launch talks over so-called tactical weapons that have remained uncovered by previous nuclear disarmament agreements with Russia.

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Five NATO Oil Tankers Attacked in Pakistan

Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan attacked five oil tankers carrying supplies to NATO troops in Afghanistan, officials said Monday.

The incident took place near the town of Mithri, some 230 kilometers southeast of Quetta, the capital of the restive oil and gas-rich Baluchistan province which borders Iran and Afghanistan.

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Lebanese-German Sues Macedonia over Alleged CIA Kidnapping

A Lebanese-German man who says he was snatched by the CIA in Macedonia and tortured at a secret prison after being mistaken for a terrorism suspect, will begin a legal battle against Macedonia Friday to demand official recognition of his ordeal.

Khaled el-Masri is seeking €50,000 ($69,000) in compensation — and an apology — from the government in Macedonia, where he says he was abducted while on a trip in 2003. His action follows failed attempts to have his case heard in court in the United States and Germany.

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WikiLeaks: Iraq PM Says Iran, Syria Armed Fighters

Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told U.S. diplomats in 2009 that neighboring Iran and Syria were providing weapons to insurgent groups within Iraq, a leaked document showed Thursday.

Maliki's comments to then-U.S. ambassador to Baghdad Christopher Hill came in the midst of a year-long diplomatic row with Damascus that prompted both Iraq and Syria to withdraw their respective ambassadors, while U.S. officials have long alleged that Iran backs militia groups operating inside Iraq.

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Pro, Anti-Mubarak Protesters Clash in Cairo as Govt Snubs Early Transition Calls

Supporters of President Hosni Mubarak stormed a crowded anti-regime rally in central Cairo on Wednesday, sparking pandemonium in which at least 500 people were hurt and one killed, witnesses said.

Partisans from both sides threw stones and set on each other with sticks and fists in battles that raged for hours in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of anti-regime demonstrations, a day after Mubarak vowed to see out the rest of his term.

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Report: Obama Tells Mubarak Not to Run for Re-Election

U.S. President Barack Obama has told his beleaguered Egyptian counterpart Hosni Mubarak not to stand for re-election in upcoming September balloting, the New York Times said Tuesday.

The message from Obama was conveyed by former U.S. ambassador to Egypt, Frank Wisner, who was dispatched to Cairo on Monday by the U.S. administration, the influential U.S. daily said, quoting American diplomats.

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Miqati: I Don’t Follow Anyone’s Agenda

Premier-designate Najib Miqati has stressed that he doesn’t “follow anyone’s agenda” even if Hizbullah and its allies brought him to power.

“I have a friendship with Hizbullah and I also have contacts outside of Lebanon, but it doesn’t mean I follow anyone’s agenda,” Miqati, 55, said in an interview with Bloomberg at his Beirut office.

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U.S. Ambassador to China Resigns Amid 2012 Rumors

U.S. ambassador to China Jon Huntsman resigned Monday, amid reports that he may seek the Republican nomination in 2012 and try to deprive his boss, President Barack Obama, of a second term.

Huntsman, a smooth former Utah governor, wrote to Obama to announce he would resign effective from April 30, after the White House noted he had told several officials he planned to leave in the first part of this year.

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Report: Israel Seeking Western Support for Mubarak

Israel has told its diplomats in the United States, Europe and elsewhere to encourage their host nations to support the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, daily Haaretz reported Monday.

The newspaper said Israel's foreign ministry told its diplomats to stress that it is in "the interest of the West" and of "the entire Middle East to maintain the stability of the regime in Egypt."

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U.S. Begins Evacuating Nationals Amid More Warnings Over Egypt Revolt

The United States started organizing Sunday the evacuation of its nationals from Egypt as an angry anti-government revolt raged into a sixth day amid increasing lawlessness and mass jail breaks.

"The U.S. embassy in Cairo informs U.S. citizens in Egypt who wish to depart that the department of state is making arrangements to provide transportation to safehaven locations in Europe," an embassy statement said, as other countries issued travel warnings and tourists scrambled for flights out.

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