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Libya Rebels' Probing Raid Breaches Brega

Libyan rebels were poised on Saturday for an attempt to retake Brega after breaching the key oil refinery town's defenses in a probing raid.

Rebel military spokesman Mohammed Zawi told Agence France Presse that a light mobile force had breached loyalist positions around Brega late on Friday, before pulling back for a renewed offensive early on Saturday.

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Obama Dials for Pizza, Gets Space Station

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station got a very long-distance call Friday from U.S. President Barack Obama, who joked that he thought he was dialing out for pizza.

Hot from giving a press conference at which he pushed Republicans to reach a deal on raising the U.S. debt ceiling, the American president took time out to chat with the 10 astronauts currently aboard the ISS.

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Israel Aircraft Raid Gaza for Fourth Day in Row

Israeli aircraft struck Gaza overnight for the fourth time in as many days, wounding an activist who was about to fire a rocket, Palestinian security sources said on Saturday.

The Palestinian was admitted to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening, the sources said.

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Gadhafi to Contact Group: Libyan People Will Step on Your Decisions

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi on Friday said that the recognition by Western and regional powers of the rebel National Transitional Council was of no significance.

"Recognize the so-called National Transitional Council a million times: it means nothing to the Libyan people who will trample on your decisions," he said in a message to thousands of his supporters in Zliten, 150 kilometers east of Tripoli.

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Clinton Slams Syrian Regime's 'False Promises'

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Friday said Syria cannot return to the way it was before unprecedented anti-regime protests, but how the situation would evolve remained unclear.

"We have said that Syria can't go back to the way it was before," Clinton said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Libyan contact group in Istanbul.

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Tunisian Police Break Up Demo with Teargas

Tunisian police fired teargas Friday to break up an anti-government protest in the capital, witnesses said.

After Friday prayers, hundreds of protestors joined a sit-in near the seat of government in the Kasbah neighborhood to demand the resignation of the interior and justice ministers.

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Israelis, Palestinians March for Palestinian State

Some 1,000 Israelis and Palestinians gathered in east Jerusalem on Friday for a protest march to support the Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition.

The marchers waved Palestinian flags and carried signs reading "marching to independence" and "only free people can negotiate for peace," an Agence France Presse photographer said.

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Egyptians Protest against Slow Pace of Reform

Thousands of protesters rallied across Egypt on Friday, capping a week of nationwide sit-ins to demand political change as anger grows with the military rulers over the slow pace of reform.

More than 28 movements had called for the rallies to pressure the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) -- which took power when president Hosni Mubarak was toppled -- to respond to their demands.

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Ten Yemenis Killed, 37 Wounded in Taez Violence

Ten Yemenis were killed and at least 37 others wounded in the city of Taez, south of Sanaa, security and tribal sources and witnesses said on Friday.

Security official Colonel Ahmed Rezaz and two companions were killed in an ambush by armed opposition tribesmen, a security source in Taez said.

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Contact Group Recognizes Libya Rebels as 'Legitimate Governmental Authority'

The Libya contact group recognized Friday the rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) as the country's "legitimate governmental authority," according to a statement seen by Agence France Presse.

The group of major Western and regional powers also urged "all relevant parties" to make efforts "for the formation of an interim government to ensure a smooth and peaceful transition of power," said the statement, to be formally issued at the end of a meeting in Istanbul later Friday.

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