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Rafah border crossing still shut: Palestinians

GAZA CITY: Palestinian officials said Sunday they had halted operations at the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt a day after Egypt closed the border, apparently without warning. In a statement, the Hamas head of the Palestinian side of the border crossing said it would remain closed for a second day while the two parties …

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Ai Weiwei work on show at key Hong Kong art fair

A leading international art fair is to display a provocative work by detained Chinese artist Ai Weiwei in Hong Kong in a show of solidarity with the outspoken dissident amid a government crackdown. Director Magnus Renfrew said the organizers of ART HK shared the concerns of the international community over Ai’s fate, and called for …

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Bin Laden fosters Arab revolt in posthumous message

WASHINGTON: Al-Qaeda has released a message from slain leader Osama bin Laden praising the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia and urging Muslims to take advantage of a "rare historic opportunity" to rise up, a US monitor said. The message posted on militant forums on Wednesday by Al-Qaeda’s media arm As-Sahab addresses Muslims on the revolutions …

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Von Trier beings the end of the world to Cannes

The end of the world is coming this Saturday, apparently, and thanks to Lars Von Trier’s apocalyptic new film "Melancholia" we have an idea about what to expect. Screened on Thursday in Cannes, where the Danish director is hoping for his second Palme d’Or, it’s a philosophical disaster movie set at a seaside country club …

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Four sentenced to death for gang rape

CAIRO: A military court on Monday sentenced four men to hang after convicting them of rape, the official MENA news agency reported. The Cairo supreme military court found the four guilty of abducting a woman from the street and gang raping her, MENA said. Egypt’s military rulers, who took power after a popular uprising ousted …

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Qaddafi regime hits out over rebel war chest

TRIPOLI: Moammar Qaddafi’s regime reacted angrily on Friday to a NATO-led decision to provide funding to the three-month-old rebellion against his rule in Libya, describing as "piracy" plans to tap its assets frozen abroad. The fund, set up at a meeting of the International Contact Group on Libya in Rome on Thursday, is intended to …

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Jordan confirms Egypt gas cut after attack

AMMAN: Jordan on Wednesday confirmed that Egyptian gas supplies to the kingdom came to a stop after unknown saboteurs bombed a pipeline in Sinai. "Egypt’s gas supplies have been halted after the attack. Power stations are now depending on heavy fuel and diesel to generate electricity," energy minister Khaled Tuqan said in a statement. "The …

AFP

ICRC evacuates 618 migrants from Misrata

GENEVA: The International Committee of the Red Cross said it has helped 618 migrants to leave the besieged Libya port city of Misrata on Monday. The evacuees included Sudanese, Chadians, Egyptians and Moroccans, all of whom had been stranded for weeks without proper shelter or sanitation. "They had to cope with poor hygiene and were …

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Egyptian Islamist in Tehran talks

TEHRAN: An Egyptian Islamist and a long-time opponent of the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak has held talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, the official IRNA news agency reported on Monday. Magdi Hussein, Secretary General of Egypt’s Islamist Labor Party (Al-A’amal), recently announced his intention to run for the presidential election later …

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Mubarak headed for military hospital, then to jail

CAIRO: Egypt’s state prosecutor decided Friday to move ailing ex-president Hosni Mubarak to a military hospital, then to prison when his health improves, in a probe over a deadly crackdown on protesters that could send him to the gallows, state media reported. Mubarak and his sons Gamal and Alaa were remanded into custody this week …

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Several thousand migrants stranded in Misrata: ICRC

GENEVA: The international Red Cross expressed concern on Sunday about several thousand foreign migrants stranded in the open in the besieged Libyan port of Misrata. The group was found living under tarpaulins and shelters by an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team that entered the city by sea for a day to evaluate …

AFP

Sudan to send Egypt 5,000 cows as a present

KHARTOUM: Sudan will start sending 5,000 cows that it promised as a gift to Egypt next week, the foreign ministry said on Saturday, just ahead of a two-day visit by Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf. "During his last trip to Egypt (at the beginning of March), President Omar Al-Bashir announced that he would give the …

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Italians rescue Egyptian migrants in Sicily

ROME: Around 50 Egyptian migrants were rescued by Italians after their small fishing boat ran aground in the seaside town of Riposto in Sicily early on Monday, local officials said. The boat is Italian and officials are attempting to trace its origins. "We’re not sure who helped them because there was no one in or …

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Roadside bombs kill four in Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Roadside bombs in the Iraqi capital have killed four people, including two soldiers, and wounded more than 20 other people, the interior ministry said on Sunday. Two bombs killed a civilian and wounded seven people, including three policemen, in central Baghdad early on Sunday, a ministry official said. Another bomb a few minutes later …

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Syria’s Assad meets Egypt military envoy

DAMASCUS: Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad on Thursday met a top Egyptian military intelligence envoy for talks on bilateral ties, the official SANA news agency reported. Assad met Egyptian General Murad Mohamed Mowafi in the capital for talks on "the mutual desire to strengthen cooperation and coordination between the two countries," SANA said in a brief …

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Obama steers clear of ‘doctrine’ as Arab tumult rages

WASHINGTON: As a wildfire of revolt whips through the Middle East and North Africa, the White House is embracing pragmatism and shying away from embroidering a grand "Obama doctrine" for a region in turmoil. For a politician as fond of the grand gesture as President Barack Obama, the idea of an eponymous school of foreign …

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Fury in Egypt as Mubarak clings to power

CAIRO: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak wrong-footed global expectations Thursday by refusing to quit office, prompting furious demonstrators in Cairo to vow their most spectacular protests yet. On the 17th day of a popular uprising against his 30-year rule, Mubarak announced he was delegating presidential power to Vice President Omar Suleiman, but said he would remain …

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UN chief says frustrated Egyptians want ‘bold reforms’

UNITED NATIONS: UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday that the Egyptian people are frustrated and demanding "bold reforms," but pulled back from previous calls for an immediate transition by President Hosni Mubarak. Saying that previous comments had been misunderstood, Ban told reporters the Egyptian people must resolve the country’s political crisis even though there could …

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US urges Egypt to uphold international treaties

WASHINGTON: The United States led pressure Monday on Egypt’s future leaders to honor existing treaties, alluding to the peace process as the Muslim Brotherhood joined talks on the Arab nation’s political transition. Washington "will be a partner" to an Egyptian government, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs vowed. But he warned: "We would expect that that …

AFP

France suspends arms sales to Egypt 02/05/2011 12:46 GMT – EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST-FRANCE-DIPLOMACY-WEAPONS – World News (EAA) – AFP PARIS, February 5, 2011 (AFP) – France said on Saturday it had suspended sales of arms and riot police equipment to Egypt

PARIS: France said on Saturday it had suspended sales of arms and riot police equipment to Egypt amid mass protests pressing for veteran leader Hosni Mubarak to step down. The decision was taken by the prime minister’s office at an extraordinary meeting on Jan. 27, and was conveyed to those concerned the following day, an …

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Egyptians should copy Tunisian revolt: ElBaradei

BERLIN: Opponents of Egypt’s long-running regime should be able to follow the lead set by the toppling of Tunisia’s veteran president, leading opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei said in comments released Saturday. "If the Tunisians have done it, Egyptians should get there too," the former UN nuclear watchdog chief told Der Spiegel for an interview to …

AFP

Bond heads to Dubai in new novel

British super spy James Bond will head to the glitzy gulf emirate of Dubai, itself no stranger to real-life espionage and assassination, in a new book titled "Carte Blanche," local papers said Tuesday. "When I thought about the setting for the new book, I thought immediately about Dubai," the book’s author, Jeffery Deaver, told reporters …

AFP

Tunisia’s new leaders look into political reforms

TUNIS: Tunisia’s acting leaders looked into political reforms Sunday following the abrupt end of former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s 23-year rule, as the Arab state veered towards chaos. Soldiers and tanks were deployed around the capital Tunis after shops and homes were looted extensively and vandals set fire to the main railway station. …

AFP

South Sudanese set for freedom party

KAUDA: A stronghold of south Sudan’s former rebels even though it lies north, Kauda in the Nuba mountains is a poor town whose indigenous peoples hope they too may one day be free from Arab rule. Two stone churches on the road leading into town and a litter of pigs running across the path beside …

AFP

Peace deal would free Arabs to focus on Iran: Rudd

JERUSALEM: An Israeli-Palestinian peace deal would free up the Arab world to "exclusively focus" on the problem of Iran’s nuclear program, Australia’s top diplomat said in remarks published on Wednesday. Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd said in an interview with English-language Jerusalem Post that a peace agreement would be a "game changer in relation to …

AFP

‘New Wave’ film legend Godard turns 80

"New Wave" director Jean-Luc Godard, who turned European filmmaking upside-down in the 1960s and who counts the likes of Pedro Almodovar and Quentin Tarantino as his modern-day heirs, turns 80 on Friday. The French-Swiss director shot to fame in 1960 with "Breathless" in which Jean Seberg played a cropped-haired American in Paris, following up with …

AFP

Irish conductor Gleeson gets guest baton in Tehran

Irish composer Derek Gleeson, who has conducted orchestras throughout Europe, faced a bit of a learning curve in preparing to take the guest baton at the Tehran Symphony Orchestra this weekend. The 46-year-old music director of the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra says he had to get familiar with a traditional Persian stringed instrument known as the …

AFP

Israeli troops raze mosque, buildings in West Bank

KHIRBET YARZA: Israeli troops razed a mosque and more than 10 other structures in two areas of the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinians sources said. Most of the demolition activity took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza in the northern Jordan Valley, where residents said troops had razed a very old mosque and …

AFP

France’s rejects Al-Qaeda hostage demands

PARIS: France on Friday rejected demands from an Al-Qaeda cell holding five French hostages in northern Africa that it negotiate their freedom with Osama bin Laden and pull its troops out of Afghanistan. "France cannot accept that its policy be dictated by anyone outside," Alliot-Marie said in a statement after Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb …

AFP

Egypt denies not cracking down on Gaza smuggling

CAIRO: A top security official said on Monday Egypt has cracked down on tunnels to Gaza and intercepted explosives destined for the enclave, a day after an Israeli official criticized its anti-smuggling efforts. The Gaza Strip relies on a network of tunnels underneath its border with Egypt, which has been key in maintaining a blockade …

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