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Suleiman: Mubarak Forms Panel to Pilot Constitutional Changes

Embattled Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak on Tuesday formed a panel to oversee constitutional amendments, Vice President Omar Suleiman said, as anti-government protests entered their third week.

"President Mubarak today signed a decree for the formation of the constitutional commission which will oversee constitutional amendments, and required legislative amendments," Suleiman said in a statement read out on television.

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Southern Sudan Votes 98.83% to Secede

Southern Sudan was well on track to become the world's newest state Monday after final results of its historic independence referendum showed that 98.83 percent of its people had voted for secession.

The results -- displayed at an announcement ceremony in Khartoum -- revealed that, out of 3,837,406 valid ballots cast, only 44,888 votes, or 1.17 percent, favored the status quo of unity with the north.

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Egypt Screens Diplomatic Bags after Weapons Claim

Authorities at Cairo airport began screening incoming and outgoing diplomatic pouches on Monday, the MENA agency said, a day after the foreign ministry accused diplomats of trying to bring weapons into Egypt.

"The pouches will be screened by X-ray ... to stop any illegal items from entering" Egypt, which has been rocked by two weeks of deadly nationwide anti-government protests.

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Ahmadinejad: Iran to Launch Several Satellites

Iran plans to launch several home-built satellites by March 2012, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday after the unveiling of four new prototypes.

"I think from the end of this (Iranian) year (to March 20) and through the next year, we will see many launches" of domestically-built satellites, Ahmadinejad said at a ceremony in Tehran.

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Egypt Protesters Hold Square Saying Concessions Not Enough

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak came under fresh pressure Monday to step down immediately as opponents said concessions made in landmark talks were not enough to halt a revolt against his 30-year reign.

As a winter sun began to peep through a chill morning mist, thousands of demonstrators emerged from under blankets and tarpaulins in central Cairo's Tahrir Square, which over two weeks has begun to resemble a tented camp.

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Tunisia Suspends Ben Ali's Party amid New Violence

Tunisia's interim government moved Sunday to ban the country's former ruling party as fresh violence left one youth dead in the country's south during protests against the remnants of the old regime.

In Tunis, the interior minister announced the suspension of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Assembly (RCD) as a first step towards its dissolution.

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Egypt Youth Groups Form Coalition, Insist on Mubarak Exit

Some of the main groups behind Egypt's opposition revolt formed a coalition on Sunday, insisting they will not end their occupation of Tahrir Square until President Hosni Mubarak leaves office.

A statement by the "unified leadership of the youth of the rage revolution" vowed not to end their protest in the central Cairo square until seven demands are met -- chief among them "the resignation of the president."

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Egypt Opposition Dismisses as 'Insufficient' Govt Reform Offer

Opponents of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's embattled regime on Sunday dismissed as insufficient an offer to include them in political reform plans and renewed their demand that he step down.

In a landmark concession, Vice President Omar Suleiman agreed to sit down with the groups, which included the banned Muslim Brotherhood, but the talks produced no immediate breakthrough in the two-week-old standoff.

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Young Kuwaitis Call for Anti-Government Protest

A Kuwaiti youth group called Sunday for a mass rally outside parliament on Tuesday to protest the government's "undemocratic practices" and to press for its ouster.

The group, Fifth Fence, said it is using Twitter to urge people to gather in large numbers for the protest.

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Algerian Forces Kill Senior Islamic Militant

Algerian forces have killed a senior Islamic militant linked with two attacks in 2007 in the capital Algiers that left dozens dead, local media reported on Sunday.

Kamel Bourihane, also known as Abou Hafs, was ambushed by the Algerian army on Friday while travelling in a vehicle in the Bouira region, about 120 kilometers (75 miles) southeast of Algiers, the El-Khabar newspaper reported.

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