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US open to Syrian rebel talks

President Obama has said he was "encouraged to see the Syrian opposition created an umbrella group" but has warned he was not prepared to recognise the group as a "government in exile."

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Arafat grave prepared for exhumation for poisoning tests

Palestinian security cordoned off Mr Arafat's grave with blue tarpaulin in Ramallah, West Bank. Credit: RTV

The grave site of former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat has been cordoned off today to prepare for a possible exhumation as part of an investigation into claims he was poisoned to death in 2004.

Blue tarpaulin fences were erected around the tomb in the West Bank capital of Ramallah to shield the public view.

French and Swiss experts will visit the tomb over the next two weeks after an Al Jazeera documentary in July suggested he was killed by a rare radioactive poison.

Allegations of foul play have long surrounded the death of President Arafat. Credit: Fiona Hanson/PA Archive

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