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U.S. Slaps Sanctions on Gadhafi, Berlusconi Believes Libyan Leader No Longer in Control of his Country

U.S. President Barack Obama has imposed personal sanctions on Libya's Moammar Gadhafi and four of his sons, in a clear attempt to further weaken his teetering regime and punish brutal assaults against his people.

Obama wielded presidential power in an executive order Friday to seize the assets of Gadhafi and named family members in the United States and globally within the auspices of U.S. financial institutions, saying the "human dignity" of Libyans "cannot be denied."

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Israeli Jets Hit Islamic Jihad Camps in Gaza

Israeli warplanes bombed two training camps of the hardline Islamic Jihad group in the Gaza Strip early on Saturday, Palestinian sources and the Israeli army said. No casualties were reported.

The jets hit two sites, one in the southern town of Khan Yunis and another near Nusseirat in the center of the Hamas-ruled territory, security officials said.

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Russia Vows to Sell Missiles to Syria

Russia announced Saturday that it intended to fulfill its contract to supply Syria with supersonic anti-ship cruise missiles despite furious condemnation of the deal by Israel.

"The contract is in the implementation stage," news agencies quoted Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov as saying.

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Toll Rises from Yemen Crackdown on Protests

Police gunfire killed four people as the biggest protests yet swept impoverished Yemen, demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down after three decades in power.

At least 19 people have now been killed in almost daily clashes at anti-regime protests since February 16, according to an AFP tally based on reports by medics and witnesses as calls gather steam for Saleh quit.

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U.N. Human Rights Council Recommends Libya Exclusion, Decides to Probe Violations

The U.N. Human Rights Council unanimously called Friday for Libya to be suspended from the body and for a probe into violations by the regime, in a dramatic session which witnessed the defection of Tripoli's envoy.

In a resolution adopted by consensus, the 47-member U.N. body decided to "urgently dispatch an independent, international commission of inquiry ... to investigate all alleged violations of international human rights law in Libya."

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Defiant Gadhafi Appears in Tripoli's Green Square: We Will Beat Them

An embattled Moammar Gadhafi said he would throw open the country's arsenals to his supporters in a rabble rousing speech Friday that presaged a bloody battle for the Libyan capital.

In a brief but chilling address in Tripoli's Green Square, Gadhafi told hundreds of cheering supporters from the top of a building to prepare themselves for a fight.

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Haaretz: Merkel Berates Netanyahu in 'Tense' Call

German Chancellor Angela Merkel berated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for failing to advance peace talks during a "tense" phone call, Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Friday.

Citing German sources, the newspaper said Merkel responded furiously when Netanyahu criticized Germany for supporting a Palestinian-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution against Israeli settlement construction.

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Sarkozy Says Gadhafi Must Go, State Violence Can't Go Unpunished

Loyalists of Moammar Gadhafi killed several people in shooting that was spreading through Tripoli on Friday as French President Nicolas Sarkozy said the embattled Libyan leader "must go."

And as protesters against Gadhafi's iron-fisted four-decade rule braved deadly gunfire in several parts of the capital, opponents braced for a fightback by a regime that has suffered yet more defections.

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Oil Climbs as Supply Fears Persist

World oil prices rose further on Friday as supply worries persisted due to escalating unrest in the oil-rich Middle East and North Africa, traders said.

Brent North Sea crude for delivery in April rose 76 cents to $112.12 per barrel, having rocketed the previous day to $119.79 -- the highest level since August 22, 2008 -- before sliding lower as many traders took profits.

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Seven People Killed in Iraqi 'Day of Rage' Demonstrations

Protesters took to the streets across Iraq on Friday to mark a "Day of Rage,” with thousands flooding Baghdad's Tahrir Square as seven protesters died in clashes with police in two northern cities.

Protesters in the capital were forced to walk to the rally site as security forces imposed a vehicle ban, a day after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki claimed the demonstrations were being organized by al-Qaida insurgents and loyalists of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein.

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