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Misrata Pounds as ICC Eyes Crimes

Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi’s forces pounded the lifeline port of Misrata with deadly fire on Wednesday, as the International Criminal Court said his regime was still carrying out crimes against humanity, Agence France Presse reported.

A rebel spokesman said at least five people were killed as loyalists shelled Misrata port, from which an International Organization of Migration ship managed to evacuate about 800 people, including stranded migrants and wounded.

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Palestinian Leaders Hail End to Four-Year Rift

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal buried the hatchet at a Cairo reconciliation ceremony on Wednesday that ends a nearly four-year feud but has angered Israel.

Palestinians gathered in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip to celebrate the long-awaited agreement to put an end to the rivalry between the administrations in the West Bank and Gaza, and restore the unity shattered by deadly infighting in June 2007.

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France Urges Citizens to Leave Syria

France urged its citizens living in or visiting Syria to leave Wednesday and warned others to cancel any plans to visit during the current political crisis, the foreign ministry said.

"While foreign citizens are not so far directly threatened, the French authorities renew their advice to delay all plans to travel to Syria," the ministry said in advice to travelers on its website.

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Hamas Executes 'Israel Collaborator' in Gaza

A Palestinian man convicted of collaboration with Israel was executed in Gaza on Wednesday on the orders of the interior ministry, the Hamas-affiliated Shahab news agency said.

The name of the Palestinian and the specific accusations against him were not detailed.

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Yemeni Tribesmen Free Abducted Saudi Diplomat

Yemeni tribesmen released Tuesday a Saudi diplomat kidnapped last month in the capital Sanaa over a trade dispute involving a Saudi businessman, one of the mediators for his release told Agence France Presse.

"Saeed al-Maliki was released by his abductor," Abd Rabbuh Naser Ahmed al-Salimi, a member of Beni Dhabian tribe, said Mohammed Naser al-Melqati.

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Barak Says Assad 'Brutality' Will Lead to His Downfall

The "brutality" of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's response to anti-government protesters will lead to the downfall of his regime, according to Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

"I think that Assad is approaching the point where he will lose his internal legitimacy," Barak told Israel's Channel 10 television on Monday night.

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Syria Protesters Call for Permanent Sit-ins amid Mass Arrests

Anti-regime protesters called for permanent sit-ins across Syria from Tuesday as the authorities were reported to have arrested more than 1,000 people in their latest crackdown on demonstrations.

"We call on Syrians in all regions to gather from Tuesday evening in all public places to organize sit-ins which will continue day and night," said a Facebook post by the opposition Syrian Revolution 2011 website.

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Erdogan Urges Gadhafi to Cede Power, Leave Libya

Turkey on Tuesday urged Moammar Gadhafi to "immediately" cede power and leave Libya, in its first public call on the veteran strongman to go.

"We wish that the Libyan leader pulls out from Libya and cedes power immediately -- for himself and for the future of his country -- without causing more bloodshed, tears and destruction," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters.

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Sarkozy Says Paris to Push for ‘Harshest Possible Sanctions’ on Syria

EU sanctions being drawn up against Syria over its bloody crackdown on protests should target its president, Bashar al-Assad, France's foreign minister said Tuesday.

Asked whether France wanted Assad to be specifically named in the measures being discussed in Brussels, Alain Juppe told reporters: "France wishes so."

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Suleiman: Bin Laden’s Killing Should Pave Way to Pressuring Israel to Reach Middle East Peace

President Michel Suleiman hoped on Tuesday that al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden’s death would help pave the way for comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

He hoped that Israel would be pressured to this end and in order to settle the Palestinian crisis.

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