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Egypt Military Rulers Name Panel to Reform Constitution

Egypt's military regime warned on Tuesday that a wave of strikes sweeping the country was "disastrous", as it gave a panel of civilian experts 10 days to revise the constitution.

Against a backdrop of persistent nationwide walk-outs and street protests, the junta promised to rapidly restore constitutional rule following the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak's regime.

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Shiite MPs Boycott Parliament as 2 Dead in Bahrain Demos

Two protesters died in clashes with Bahraini police, sparking angry calls from young cyber-activists for regime change and a walkout of parliament by Bahrain's main Shiite opposition bloc on Tuesday.

The events prompted King Hamad to express sorrow for the deaths, announce a ministerial probe and pledge to press ahead with reforms, in an address to the tiny Gulf state facing Iran across the Gulf that is ruled by his Sunni family.

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EU Urges Iran to Respect Right to Protest Peacefully

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged Iran on Tuesday to refrain from using force against protesters and to respect the right to demonstrate peacefully.

Ashton "is closely following the events taking place in Iran, notably the apparent restrictions placed on the freedom of movement of certain members of the opposition and the protests taking place on the streets today," her office said in a statement.

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U.S. Jewish Leader Makes Secret Visit to Syria

A top American Jewish leader said Monday that a secret visit he recently made to Syria could be a sign that President Bashar Assad wants to improve relations with the West.

Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, also said the international community should proceed with caution as the Arab world begins to embrace democracy.

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Clinton: Time for Iran to 'Open Up', Follow Egypt

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hailed the "courage" and "aspirations" of anti-government protests in Iran on Monday, and pressed Tehran to follow Egypt's example and "open up" its political system.

"We wish the opposition and the brave people in the streets across cities in Iran the same opportunity that they saw their Egyptian counterparts seize in the last week," Clinton told reporters during a visit to the U.S. Congress.

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Egypt Military Regime Urges End to Strikes, Protests

Egypt's new military regime on Monday called on workers to end a wave of strikes and civil disobedience that has threatened to paralyze the country in the wake of the fall of Hosni Mubarak's government.

In its latest announcement since it took power Friday, the Supreme Council of the Armed forces urged labor leaders to call off their action, but stopped short of issuing a decree banning them, as it had been rumored it would do.

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Hundreds of Protesters Attempt Iran Demos as Police Deploy

Hundreds of Iranian protesters on Monday attempted to stage scattered demonstrations in Tehran said to be in support of Arab revolts as scores of policemen moved to disperse them, witnesses said.

A witness said crowds of protesters were seen at Tehran's key areas such as Haft-e Tir Square, Karim Khan Avenue, Ferdowsi Square, Hafez street, while another said similar crowds were walking from Imam Hussein Square to Enghelab Square.

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Bahrain Police Disperse Dozens of Protesters

Bahraini police used tear gas to disperse dozens of protesters Monday in the eastern village of Nuwaidrat, police said, as security forces deployed in the tiny Gulf kingdom following Facebook calls for a February 14 "revolt."

Security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters taking part in an "unauthorized" demonstration, a police official said, adding that no arrests were made.

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Arab Summit to be Held in Baghdad on March 29

Arab leaders will hold their annual summit in Baghdad on March 29, officials said Monday, in defiance of threats by Islamist insurgents waging a campaign against countries planning to take part.

The meeting also comes at a critical time for the region's mainly autocratic leaders, after two popular uprisings ousted two Arab presidents in less than two months amid mounting calls for political and economic reform.

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Dubai-New York Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Stockholm

A Boeing Emirates 777 traveling from Dubai to New York with 361 passengers on board made an emergency landing in Stockholm early Monday after smoke was detected in the cabin, an airport spokesman said.

"They had an indication of smoke in the cabin ... It could have been someone smoking in the toilets," Anders Bredfell of Stockholm's Arlanda airport told Agence France Presse.

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