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New Israeli government formed: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs the Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting at the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) on March 14, 2013 in Jerusalem. AFP PHOTO/GALI TIBBON

JERUSALEM: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Friday he had signed agreements with key coalition partners, forming a new government just over 24 hours ahead of a deadline and days before a milestone visit from US President Barack Obama.


Tunisia ruling Islamist party 'against' female circumcision

Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamist Ennahda party that heads the new Tunisian government, speaks during a press conference in Tunis on March 15, 2013. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID

TUNIS: The head of Tunisia's ruling Islamist party Ennahda insisted Friday that his group was opposed to female circumcision, after one of its MPs caused a storm by reportedly saying the operation was "aesthetic.


Ex-TV anchor Yair Lapid named as Israeli finance minister

In this Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 photo, Yair Lapid gestures as he delivers a speech at his "Yesh Atid" party in Tel-Aviv. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, FIle)

TEL AVIV: Yair Lapid, a former TV anchor whose upstart political party was the biggest surprise in Israel's election, was named the country's new finance minister on Friday as a government coalition deal was signed, his spokesman said.


Human climate change big factor in Somali famine

Kadijo Suleyman, an internally displaced person from southern Somalia, holding her malnourished child in front of her makeshift shelter. (AFP/Abdurashid ABDULLE)

NAIROBI: Human-induced climate change contributed to low rain levels in East Africa in 2011, making global warming one of the causes of Somalia's famine and the tens of thousands of deaths that followed, a new study has found.