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Duty Editor: John Weaver Tel: +852 2829 6211
-- TOP STORIES --
+ Venezuela's Chavez dies, armed forces deployed
+ US, China call for tough sanctions on N. Korea
+ Dow Jones Index spikes to all-time record high
+ Furore as Manchester Utd exit Champions League
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez loses his battle with cancer, his death silencing the leading voice of the Latin American left and plunging his oil-rich nation into an uncertain future.
900 words 0200 GMT by Laurent Thomet. Picture. Graphic. Video
The UN Security Council will on Thursday ban racing cars for North Korea and order an international hunt for its diplomats carrying suitcases of cash, but no one expects Pyongyang to halt its nuclear shock tactics.
650 words 0200 GMT by Tim Witcher
The Dow Jones Industrial Average powers to an all-time record high exactly four years after hitting bottom in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
700 words moved by John Biers. Picture. Video
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom
Cristiano Ronaldo scores the decisive goal as Real Madrid controversially come from behind to win 2-1 at Manchester United and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.
750 words moved by Tom Williams. Picture
-- DEATH OF HUGO CHAVEZ --
Latin America mourns the death of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as the United States expresses hope the firebrand leader's passing will improve relations with the oil-rich state.
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The US has quietly voiced hopes that a post-Chavez era could herald a new era in relations with Venezuela, but accusations of a US plot to kill the leftist firebrand show that ties are likely to remain frosty for some time.
650 words 0300 GMT by Jo Biddle
-- AFRICA --
Kenya's deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces an international trial for crimes against humanity, takes an initial lead in the presidential election, the first since disputed polls five years ago triggered violence.
900 words moved by Peter Martell. Graphic. Picture. Video
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France says that dozens of Islamist militants have been killed in the bloodiest phase of the Mali conflict to date, but it remains unclear if key commander Mokhtar Belmokhtar was among them.
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-- ASIA --
FELDA SAHABAT, Malaysia
Malaysian security forces conduct house-to-house searches after a military assault on armed intruders from the Philippines failed to trap the militants, who are now being reinforced by battle-hardened veterans.
600 words 0200 GMT by M. Jegathesan. Picture. Graphic
Shares in struggling Sharp jump after reports that South Korean rival Samsung is planning to become its biggest foreign shareholder, in a move that highlights the fading fortunes of Japan's electronics giants.
550 words 0230 GMT by Miwa Suzuki. File picture
Aung San Suu Kyi's long-suppressed opposition will hold its first ever party congress on Friday, cementing its new place in Myanmar's political mainstream as it aims to sweep to power in 2015.
700 words 0130 GMT by Kelly Macnamara. File picture. Video
-- EUROPE --
Russian police detain three suspects, including a top dancer, over an acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet artistic director in a case that has exposed vicious infighting at the theatre.
550 words moved by Anna Malpas. File picture. File video
Russia marks 60 years since the death of Joseph Stalin with the nation divided about whether to view him as a tyrant who slaughtered millions or a saviour who turned the country into a superpower after World War II.
650 words 0230 GMT by Olga Rotenberg. Picture. Video
From a glove that can be used as a mobile phone to a remote-controlled spy helicopter: this year's CeBIT, the world's top high-tech fair, showcases a bewildering array of gadgets.
600 words 0300 GMT by Richard Carter. Picture. Video
-- AMERICAS --
The US Senate Intelligence Committee gives its approval for John Brennan to be the next CIA director, after the White House turns over secret memos on the targeted killing of Americans.
750 words 0230 GMT by Michael Mathes. Picture
The founder of an extreme fetish website used by New York's "cannibal cop" testifies that online chats about women being eaten were a typical fantasy and compares the forum to Facebook.
650 words moved by Sebastian Smith
-- MIDDLE EAST --
President Bashar al-Assad says his regime has defeated the "conspiracy" against Syria, even as rebels overrun a provincial capital and capture its governor in the biggest coup of their revolt.
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