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Mubarak Steps Down as President, Army Takes Over

Mubarak steps downEgypt's embattled President Hosni Mubarak abruptly stepped down as president, ending his 30-year-rein, and Egyptian armed forces will take over the leadership of the country, vice president Omar Suleiman announced today.

Crowds gathered in Cairo's Tahrir Square erupted into loud cheers, chanting "Egypt is free," as the historic announcement was made.

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Turkey Gaza flotilla probe: Five shot dead at close range

Flotilla probe: 5 shot a close rangeA Turkish government inquiry into Israel's raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla that killed eight Turks and a Turkish-American says Israeli soldiers shot five victims at close range.

The report released Friday says two of the victims were killed even before soldiers boarded the Turkish ship in May. The report says Israel blatantly violated international laws. Israeli commandos raided the flotilla in May last year as it sought to break the blockade on the Hamas-ruled strip.

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Israel openly opposes democracy in Mid East

Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Silvan ShalomIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's second-in-command has strictly rejected the establishment of democracy in Egypt, alleging it could have dire consequences.

Deputy Premier Silvan Shalom said attempts at promotion of democracy in Egypt could strengthen what he called radical elements in the country, said Israeli website The Marker, a subdivision of the Ha'aretz newspaper.

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Egypt's Mubarak refuses to quit

Mubarak refuses to quitEgypt's President Hosni Mubarak has said he will stay in office and transfer power only after September's presidential election. His comments confounded reports he was preparing to stand down immediately. He said he would ignore "diktats from abroad".

President Mubarak said he would delegate some powers to Vice-President Omar Suleiman.
Egypt's military earlier said it was standing ready to "protect the nation".

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US Air Force sells sensor-fuzed Textron bombs to India

Textron sensor-fuzed bombTextron Defense Systems of Massachusetts will provide sensor-fuzed weapons to India through a U.S. Air Force contract. The Foreign Military Sale agreement for 512 CBU-105 sensor-fuzed bombs is worth $257 million. The company said $126 million of the total amount is funded immediately.

"We believe that SFW is truly the best area attack weapon in the world," said Ellen Lord, senior vice president and general manager of Textron Defense Systems. "Through a process of rigorous research, testing and analysis, we have created a weapon that is reliable, safe and meets current clean battlefield standards."

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Saudi asked U.S. to stop oil lawsuits: Wikileaks

Saudi AramcoSaudi Arabia in 2007 threatened to pull out of a multi-billion dollar Texas oil refinery investment unless the U.S. government intervened to stop state company Saudi Aramco being sued in U.S. courts for alleged oil price fixing, according to U.S. diplomatic cables seen by Wikileaks.

Deputy Saudi Oil Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud at a July 8 meeting with U.S. embassy staff in Riyadh said he wanted the U.S. to grant Saudi Arabia sovereign immunity from lawsuits by ordering a Dept. of Justice statement of interest (SOI) on its behalf, one cable said.

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WikiLeaks: Israel's secret hotline to the man tipped to replace Mubarak

WikiLeaks: Suleiman's hotline to IsraelThe new vice-president of Egypt, Omar Suleiman, is a long-standing favourite of Israel's who spoke daily to the Tel Aviv government via a secret "hotline" to Cairo, leaked documents disclose. Mr Suleiman, who is widely tipped to take over from Hosni Mubarak as president, was named as Israel's preferred candidate for the job after discussions with American officials in 2008.

As a key figure working for Middle East peace, he once suggested that Israeli troops would be "welcome" to invade Egypt to stop weapons being smuggled to Hamas terrorists in neighbouring Gaza.

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