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Days of violence convulsed the capital, Manama, as thousands in the predominantly Shi'ite island kingdom vented their frustration at its Sunni royal family over what protesters say is a discriminatory and repressive state. The government has promised reforms; a diverse coalition of opposition groups has promised to continue with demonstrations.

Palestinian Cabinet Steps Down

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Reverberations from Cairo's Tahrir Square reached Ramallah when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas announced a wholesale Cabinet reshuffle and called for new elections by September. His administration has been in an uncomfortable spot since last month, when internal documents revealed by al-Jazeera English appeared to show a gap between the positions Abbas was taking publicly and offers made behind closed doors to the Israelis. But Hamas, which rules Gaza while Abbas' Fatah movement controls the West Bank, immediately rejected the idea of holding new elections before the rival movements have been reconciled.

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