Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Jun 20, 2011 4:41 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Syria's president promises a national dialogue to consider political reforms, but his vague overtures to a pro-democracy uprising fall flat as protesters take to the streets shouting "Liar!" and demanding his ouster. In only his third public appearance since the revolt erupted in March, Bashar Assad blames the unrest on "saboteurs," offers modest potential reforms, but gives no sign he'd move toward ending the Assad family's political domination.

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LIBYA

Libya's government says a NATO airstrike west of Tripoli destroyed a large family compound belonging to a close associate of Moammar Gadhafi, killing at least 15 people, including three children. The alliance says the strike hit a "command and control" center. Gadhafi's regime has repeatedly accused NATO of targeting civilians in an attempt to rally support against international intervention into Libya's civil war. The alliance insists it tries to avoid killing civilians.

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EGYPT

Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was treated last year for cancer in his gallbladder and pancreas, and may be suffering a recurrence that spread to his stomach, his defense lawyer says. However, two senior Egyptian medical officials _ one of them the head of Mubarak's team of doctors _ says he does not have cancer. Mubarak, 83, has been hospitalized since early April. He is set to face trial in August on charges he ordered the killings of protesters during the 18-day uprising that ousted him on Feb. 11. A conviction could carry the death penalty, and activists suspect he may be using health problems as a ruse to sway public opinion and perhaps even win amnesty.

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YEMEN

Tens of thousands take to the streets of the capital, demanding that the president's sons leave Yemen, as pressure rises for the wounded leader being treated in Saudi Arabia to step down. Ahmed Saleh, 42, is a one-time heir apparent to his father, who was badly wounded in an attack earlier this month. Ahmed Saleh commands the elite Presidential Guard, the country's best equipped and trained military unit.

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TUNISIA

Tunisia's former ruler and his wife are convicted in absentia on embezzlement and other charges after $27 million in jewels and public funds were found in one of his palaces. They are sentenced to 35 years each in prison and fined. The conviction of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Leila Trabelsi follows a daylong trial before the Tunis criminal court. The couple went into exile on Jan. 14 in Saudi Arabia after a monthlong uprising that sparked a string of other uprisings in the Arab world.

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ALGERIA

About 200 former military conscripts demonstrate in downtown Algiers calling for greater pensions and benefits after taking part in the fight against the Islamist insurgency the 1990s. The conscripts say they were never properly compensated for their years of service in the bloody battles that claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.