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Iran denies nuclear deal with the West

Iran's government was forced to deny it had already struck a nuclear deal with the West, after a lawmaker accused its negotiators of secretly selling the country short. Iran's foreign ministry threatened to prosecute the Member of Parliament who said an agreement that breaches the Islamic republic's "red lines" had been settled. A group of hard line lawmakers in Tehran have repeatedly warned Iran has already given up too much in talks with the United States and other leading nations under an interim deal that traded curbs on its nuclear programme for limited sanctions relief. However Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif have pushed ahead despite pressure back home, consistently stating a comprehensive agreement is possible by a November 24 deadline.

Libya accepts proposed talks to end conflict

Sudan said Libya's premier Abdullah al-Thani " has accepted its proposal to bring together different groups in his strife-torn North African nation for talks on ending the conflict. Mounting unrest across Libya has virtually confined the internationally recognised government to the eastern city of Tobruk, and last month it accused Sudan of arming "terror" groups on its territory. In September, Thani's government said Sudan was arming "terror" groups after an arms-laden Sudanese plane touched down at an airbase in southern Libya, allegedly bound for a military airbase in Tripoli held by mostly Islamist militias who seized the capital in August. Sudan denied the allegations.

UN authorises ship inspections near Somalia

The United Nations Security Council authorised the inspection of boats suspected of carrying illegal shipments of charcoal or weapons to and from Somalia on Friday, though Russia and Jordan abstained from the vote over concerns about the move.

The resolution, adopted by the 15-member council with 13 votes in favor, approves the use of "all necessary measures" - diplomatic code for military force - to carry out such inspections. The council imposed an arms embargo on Somalia in 1992 to cut the flow of arms to feuding warlords, who ousted dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and plunged the country into civil war.

The Security Council then banned charcoal exports from Somalia in February 2012 in a bid to cut off funds for al Shabaab, an al Qaeda-affiliated group fighting for control of Somalia and enforcing strict sharia law in areas it occupies.

Jordan's Deputy UN Ambassador Mahmoud Hmoud raised concerns that the council resolution does not contain "a sufficient guarantee to prevent any abuse of this authorisation and to prevent any obstruction of the maritime navigation."

Iran hangs woman despite campaign

Iran has executed a woman who killed a man she said was trying to sexually abuse her. Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in a Tehran prison despite an international campaign urging a reprieve. Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for the murder of Morteza Abdolali Sarbandi, a former employee of Iran's ministry of intelligence. Human rights group Amnesty International said she was convicted after a deeply flawed investigation. A campaign calling for a halt to the execution was launched on Facebook and Twitter last month and appeared to have brought a temporary stay in execution.

State of emergency imposed in Sinai

Egypt has declared a three-month state of emergency in parts of the Sinai Peninsula after at least 31 soldiers were killed in two attacks there. President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has declared three days of mourning in the wake of the suspected jihadist attacks. Egypt's Rafah crossing into the Gaza Strip was also closed, state TV said. It was the biggest loss of life in decades for Egypt's army, which has been carrying out an offensive against jihadists in northern Sinai. The area has become increasingly lawless since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in 2011. Militants have stepped up attacks since Islamist President Mohammed Morsi was ousted by the army last year.

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