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US-INTERNATIONAL Summary

Sep 25, 2011, 9:56 p.m.

Libya's NTC readies new push into Sirte

TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Fighters backing Libya's interim rulers prepared to renew their advance into the coastal city of Sirte on Monday after NATO aircraft bombed targets in Muammar Gaddafi's home town to sap the resistance of the deposed leader's troops. Anti-Gaddafi forces had pushed to within a few hundred meters of the center of Sirte, one of the last bastions of pro-Gaddafi resistance in Libya, but drew back on Sunday while NATO aircraft launched their attacks.

French left seizes Senate majority, hurts Sarkozy

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy's conservative government lost its majority in the Senate to the left on Sunday, officials said, in a historic defeat that deals him a blow just seven months before a presidential election. For the first time since 1958, the right-dominated upper house swung to a left-wing majority as the body's membership underwent a major generational change of guard.

In letter, Knox says is tired, thinks of Seattle

PERUGIA, Italy (Reuters) - American student Amanda Knox is "very tired" but dreaming of things to do with her loved ones if she walks free from an Italian prison, Italian media reported, quoting a letter she wrote to an Italian lawmaker. Knox is appealing against a 26-year jail term imposed after she was found guilty of murdering her British roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007 with the help of her Italian boyfriend and another man during a drug-fueled orgy.

Pakistan will not attack Haqqani group, defying U.S.: report

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan's military will not take action against a militant group Washington blames for an attack against its embassy in Kabul, despite mounting American pressure to do so, a Pakistani newspaper reported on Monday. Pakistan's army chief General Ashfaq Kayani met with his top commanders on Sunday in a "special" meeting to discuss the security situation, the military said, as the war of words with the United States escalated.

Gunfire overnight at CIA office in Kabul

KABUL (Reuters) - There was a brief gunfight at a hotel in Kabul used as a CIA office on Sunday evening, the city's police chief said, but officials are still investigating what had happened in an area with restricted access even for Afghan security forces. The Ariana hotel is just a few blocks away from the Presidential Palace and the U.S. embassy, in a heavily guarded military and diplomatic enclave almost entirely inaccessible to casual visitors.

Saudi king gives women right to vote

JEDDAH (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's king announced on Sunday women would be given the right to vote and stand in elections, a bold shift in the ultra-conservative absolute monarchy as pressure for social and democratic reform sweeps the Middle East. It was by far the biggest change in Saudi Arabia's tightly-controlled society yet ordered by the 88-year-old Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, who took power six years ago with a reformer's reputation but has ruled as a cautious conservative.

British police charge six with terrorism offences

LONDON (Reuters) - Six men have been charged with terrorism offences a week after they were arrested in a police operation in Birmingham, Britain's second largest city, police said on Sunday. Four of the men were charged with preparing for acts of terrorism in the UK, while the other two were charged with failing to disclose information, West Midlands Police said in a statement.

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