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LIBYA: Death verdict for ex-minister

A criminal court sentenced a Gadhafi-era education minister to death on Wednesday for murder and for inciting violence during the 2011 civil war. A judge in Misrata, one of the hardest-hit cities during the war, found Ahmed Ibrahim guilty of inciting residents in Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte to form armed gangs and fight the rebels who were seeking to overthrow the dictator. The judge also found him guilty of killing a man named Moftah Sadiq el-Sofrani after kidnapping him from a hospital, as well as giving orders to kidnap and kill five other people from the same family. Several days ago, the court sentenced security official Masnour Al-Daw Gadhafi, a member of the dictator's family, to death for his role in the civil war, according to Nasser Jibril, a journalist who attended both trials in Misrata.

SYRIA: UN to begin germ war probe

UN experts will travel to Syria as soon as possible to investigate three alleged incidents of chemical weapons attacks, the UN announced Wednesday. Spokesman Martin Nesirky said the green light for the investigation followed "the understanding reached with the government of Syria" during last week's visit to Damascus by UN disarmament chief Angela Kane and the head of the chemical weapons investigation team, Ake Sellstrom. When Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon agreed to a UN investigation in March, he said the announcement "should serve as an unequivocal reminder that the use of chemical weapons is a crime against humanity."

PAKISTAN: Kerry on new mission

A new set of players but the same lingering issues are confronting John Kerry on his first visit to Pakistan as U.S. secretary of state: the fight against extremism, American drone attacks inside the country and the war in Afghanistan. The trip is a chance for Kerry to get to know the newly elected prime minister, Nawaz Sharif. Kerry arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday evening, and planned meetings Thursday with civilian and military leaders, including Sharif.

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