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Opposition forces in Libya say they’re planning a final assault on the capital Tripoli. It’s essentially the last part of the country that remains under the control of long-time leader Colonel Gaddafi and protesters say his days in power are now numbered.

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On Wednesday, 20 deputies of Ukraine announced a new political faction called “Reforms for the Future.” The new union is mostly made up of former members of the Yulia Tymoshenko Bloc, supporting the reforms of President Viktor Yanukovych, as well as its own reforms, such as a state-run health care plan.

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This report by the Pentagon Channel, the U.S. Defense Department’s TV news service, on the killing of four Americans by pirates on February 22, includes an interview with U.S. Navy Vice Admiral Mark Fox, commander of U.S. Navy Forces Central Command, who describes the events after U.S. forces boarded the pirated vessel Quest off the coast of East Africa.

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The future of Libya appears to be a knife-edge, as airforce fighter jets have bombarded the capital, Tripoli, reportedly on the orders of leader Muammer Gaddafi. Witnesses in Tripoli say that mercenaries are roaming the streets, firing at anyone they see in a bid to dissuade people from demonstrating against Gaddafi.

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Security forces have clashed with anti-government protesters in Yemen on the seventh consecutive day of demonstrations calling for the ouster of the president. Police have shot and killed two protesters in the Yemeni city of Aden as unrest in the capital Sanaa against President Ali Abdullah Saleh flared for a fourth straight day.

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Ugandans will vote in elections on Friday that are expected to extend President Museveni’s term to 30 years. He’s facing a fierce challenge from a former ally, Kizza Besigye. Besiye says he was cheated of victory in the last two elections and promises protests if vote rigging happens again.

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There have been angry scenes in the Iranian Parliament as members took to the floor to condemn anti-government protests at the weekend. State television showed parliamentarians calling for the opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mossavi and Mahdi Karroubi to face trial. Both have been under house arrest for a week after asking for permission to protest.

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About 500 Chinese people are said to live in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan’s second city. Many work in the new Kawa Mall where Chinese flags, lucky cats and paper lanterns present an incongruous scene on the Kurdish landscape. Such immigration and foreign investment is becoming more prominent in the semi-autonomous area run by the Kurdistan Regional Government.

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Burma’s opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, is calling for Western countries to end sanctions against the country’s military regime. She says the sanctions have hurt ordinary Burmese, as about a third of the country’s 50 million people live below the poverty line. Burma’s National League for Democracy’s party says it wants to talk with Western nations about cutting back sanctions against the military ruled state.

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