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Iranian Protests Continue, U.S. Gives Full Backing

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InternationalTEHRAN, June 13 - Demonstrations against the religious rule continued in the Iranian capital for the third straight day on Friday, June 13, as the U.S. said it gave full backing to “Iranians’ aspirations to live in freedom.”

Some 40 students were injured and 10 arrested in several hours of clashes at a Tehran university between demonstrators and Iranian police special forces, a student leader told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

\"About 200 members of the special forces, armed with batons and wearing helmets, invaded the campus at 1:00 am (2030 GMT Thursday). The clashes lasted until 8:00 am,\" said the member of an Islamic student association.
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Bomb Attacks Hit Iraq Pipeline

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BAGHDAD, June 13 - An Iraqi oil pipeline was burning Friday, June 13, after being attacked by twin bomb attacks, despite an offensive by U.S.-led forces against opponents of their occupation regime.

Fires blazed on the major pipeline from Iraq\'s northern oilfields after what residents said were twin bomb attacks aimed at sabotaging exports through Turkey, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

An AFP correspondent saw two separate fires on the pipeline, 15 kilometers (nine miles) from the key refinery town of Baiji, close to the main highway between Baghdad and the northern regional capital of Mosul.
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2/3 Of Israelis Against Assassinations, Sharon Blamed

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InternationalOCCUPIED JERUSALEM, June 13 - Two-thirds of Israelis want a halt to Israel\'s practice of \"targeted killings\" of Palestinian activists, which escalated in recent days, according to a poll published Friday, June 13, as Israeli press blasted Premier Ariel Sharon over ‘the same policy’.

The poll, published in the daily Yediot Aharonot, showed that of the two-thirds, 58 percent of those interviewed said the assassinations should be \"provisionally suspended\" to give new Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmud Abbas time to assert his authority. Nine percent want them stopped altogether.

In contrast, 30 percent favored continuing the campaign to kill senior Palestinian leaders, such as the helicopter attacks this week on leaders of the resistance group Hamas. Three percent had no opinion.
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Rumsfeld Threatens Belgium Over Disputed War Crimes

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InternationalBRUSSELS, June 12 – U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld attacked Belgium Thursday, June 12, over a controversial law allowing lawsuits against foreigners for war crimes, saying Washington would oppose funding for a new NATO headquarters there until the legal threat is withdrawn.

\"These suits are absurd,\" he said, referring to lawsuits brought under Belgium\'s universal competence law, including one recent case against the U.S. commander during the Iraq war, Agence- France- Presse(AFP) reported Friday, June 13.

For his part, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel rejected the criticism, saying he \"did not understand the attitude of the United States, or Mr. Rumsfeld\'s anyway\".

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US Plans to boost seaport inspections worldwide..

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InternationalAs part of its fight against terrorism, the US is now reportedly planning to place teams of American inspectors at certain critical harbors around the world. In line with reports from its intelligence services, the US will send expert teams to various majority Muslim nations and other strategic countries, including Turkey, to prevent any attempt to target its shores through smuggling weapons of mass destruction by ship.
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Washington supports Turkey’s ongoing progress towards European Union membership, declared US Secretary of State Colin Powell yesterday. “The United States and Turkey are great nations,” said Powell in a written message sent to the opening ceremony of a new US Consulate building in Istanbul. “As Ataturk said, we have both been inspired by democratic ideals, and this experience indeed deepens our friendship. Both Turks and Americans are focused on the future, a future that will be a very bright one for the Turkish people despite the many challenges you face today. It will be bright for the same reason that my country’s future is bright: because innovative people freed to use their creativity and initiative can produce wonders.”
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German Army withdraws from Kuwait

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InternationalTURKEY, June 12, 2003 - The German army is to withdraw the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons inspection tanks known as the \"Fox\" model from Kuwait. According to a statement issued by the German Ministry of Defense, 60 German soldiers assigned in the region for anti-terrorism duties will also return home.
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Israel Demolishes House Of Disabled ...

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GAZA CITY, June 12 - Israeli troops bulldozed flat Wednesday, June 11, the house of a wheelchair bound Palestinian citizen in the pre-1948 town of Al-Lydd, now the Israeli mixed town of Lod.

Backed by an Israeli helicopter gunship and over 200 Israeli policemen, two Israeli bulldozers demolished the 40 square meter house of the 23-year-old Hany Zbeidah, a computer engineer, according to a human rights activist at the scene.

Zbeidah was forcibly removed from his house, as it was demolished with the contents inside.
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U.S. Apache Downed, F-16 Crashes In Iraq

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InternationalBAGHDAD, June 12 - A U.S. helicopter was shot down Thursday, June 12, and several people were killed in overnight clashes with the U.S.-led occupation forces in western Iraq, which has seen a spate of attacks on U.S. troops.

\"One AH-64 Apache was apparently shot down by hostile fire today in western Iraq. Coalition ground forces were able to recover the uninjured two-member crew almost immediately and secure the crash site,\" Agence-France Presse (AFP) quoted the U.S. Central Command (Centcom) as saying.

\"Two additional Apache helicopters assisted in engaging irregular forces in the vicinity of the downed aircraft,\" Centcom said in a statement.
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Hamas Wants Foreigners Out Of Israel...

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GAZA CITY, June 12 - The military wing of the Palestinian Islamic resistance group Hamas warned foreigners Thursday, June 12, to leave Israel for their own safety while declaring for the first time that \"the head\" of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was now targeted and threatening new operations against the Israelis.

In a statement received by Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Al-Jazeera, the Ezzudin al-Qassam Brigades advised foreigners to \"leave the Zionist entity to ensure their security since we will strike everywhere.\"

\"We call on international citizens to leave the Zionist entity immediately to preserve their lives,\" read the statement.

Hamas sources said the group was holding to its policy of not deliberately attacking foreigners, the Israeli Haaretz newspaper said.
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