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Chinese police swoop in on activists over call to a ‘jasmine revolution’

BEIJING — China has detained top activists and deployed heavy security in large cities after the launch of a web campaign calling for protests echoing popular uprisings in the Arab world, campaigners said on Sunday. Up to 100 leading Chinese rights lawyers and activists have disappeared since Saturday with police…

Tunisia asks Saudi Arabia to extradite Ben Ali

TUNIS (AFP) – Tunisia said Sunday it had officially asked Saudi Arabia to extradite deposed strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali whom it accused of “several serious crimes”. A foreign ministry statement cited by the state news agency TAP said an official request had been sent through diplomatic channels for…

Bahrain must reform now, Clinton says

WASHINGTON — Bahrain must carry out political reforms immediately, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in comments aired on Sunday in which she blasted any violence by the Gulf kingdom’s security forces as unacceptable . “Bahrain had started on some reform and we want to see them get back…

NATO probes allegations of Afghan civilian deaths

ASADABAD, Afghanistan (AFP) – – NATO announced on Sunday that it will investigate allegations that its forces killed more than 50 civilians during ongoing operations in the restive east of Afghanistan. The provincial governor of Kunar province, Fazlullah Wahidi, told AFP that military operations and airstrikes have killed 63 people…

Chinese police snuff out planned Arab-inspired protests

BEIJING/SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Police dispersed scores of people who gathered in central Beijing on Sunday after calls spread online across China urging pro-democracy gatherings inspired by protest rallies across the Middle East. In the end, the small gatherings in Beijing and Shanghai turned out to be demonstrations of the Chinese…

Update: Libya death toll tops 173, says Human Rights Watch

Update: Death toll now at least 173, rights group says Human Rights Watch said Sunday that the countrywide death toll in Libya had reached 173. Local residents told Al Jazeera that 200 people had died in Benghazi alone. Original report continues below… TRIPOLI (AFP) – The death toll has topped…

US wants women on Egypt’s constitutional committee

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The United States voiced regret Saturday at the absence of women on a committee tasked with proposing amendments to Egypt’s constitution despite their participation in protests that ousted Hosni Mubarak. “Women in #Egypt protested for change. It is a concern that women are excluded from the constitutional…

North Korea digging tunnels for likely nuclear test: report

SEOUL (Reuters) – North Korea is digging tunnels at a site where it has launched two nuclear tests, suggesting it is preparing a third, the South’s Yonhap news agency said on Sunday, a development which would trigger concern across the region. Tensions rose on the divided peninsula when 46 sailors…

Libyan authorities cut off nation’s Internet access: report

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Internet service was cut off in Libya on Friday as the regime evidently moved to strip anti-government protestors of ways to organize and communicate, according to Arbor Networks. Libya “abruptly disconnected” from the Internet at 4:15 pm.(00:15 GMT Saturday), according to the US based tracker of…

As army withdraws from Bahrain’s Pearl Square, protesters return

MANAMA (AFP) – Thousands of jubilant Bahrainis returned on Saturday to Manama’s Pearl Square, the focal point of bloody anti-regime demonstrations, after police and troops withdrew in an apparently conciliatory move. After the security force pull-out, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa ordered that they were to stay away. Salman,…

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