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AFP 1900 GMT news advisory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

News Editor: Susan Stumme

Tel: +1 202 414 0541

-- TOP STORIES --

+ Venezuela mourns firebrand Chavez

+ Egypt court cancels April elections

+ One million Syrians flee violence

+ EU fines Microsoft over browsers

+ Bolshoi dancer admits acid attack

Venezuela-politics-Chavez,2ndlead-WRAP

CARACAS

The flag-draped coffin of Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez is borne through throngs of weeping supporters as a nation bids farewell to the firebrand leftist who led them for 14 years.

900 words 2030 GMT by Laurent Thomet. Picture. Graphic. Video

We will also move: Venezuela-politics-Chavez-Caracas,2ndlead

Venezuela-politics-Chavez-world,newseries-REAX-WRAP

Egypt-vote,6thlead

CAIRO

Egypt's administrative court orders the cancellation of controversial parliamentary elections scheduled for April 22, throwing the country deeper into political crisis.

550 words 2030 GMT

Syria-conflict,4thlead-WRAP

DAMASCUS

One million Syrians have fled their homeland since a revolt erupted two years ago, the UN says, as monitors say regime warplanes struck rebel enclaves across the country and rebels seize UN peacekeepers on the Golan Heights.

750 words 2030 GMT

EU-competition-Internet-company-Microsoft-computers,WRAP

BRUSSELS

The EU fines Microsoft 561 million euros ($730 million) for failing to provide customers with a choice of Internet browser as promised but runs into criticism for allowing the US giant to monitor its own commitments.

600 words moved. Picture.

Russia-ballet-crime-entertainment,WRAP

MOSCOW

A leading Bolshoi Ballet soloist confesses to ordering the acid attack on the artistic director of the world famous dance company in a hate crime for which he could face up to 12 years in jail.

700 words moved by Stuart Williams. File picture. File video.

-- VENEZUELA --

Venezuela-Chavez-commodities-energy-oil,lead

LONDON

Venezuela's vast nationalised oil sector needs to open up to foreign investors if it is to develop, but there is little likelihood of a rapid change following the death of president Hugo Chavez, analysts say.

650 words 1930 GMT by Julien Girault. Picture. Video. Graphic.

Venezuela-politics-Chavez-LatAm,ANALYSIS

RIO DE JANEIRO

The death of Hugo Chavez leaves a void in Latin America's leftist leadership and raises questions about the future of his "petro-diplomacy" which helped him forge anti-US alliances and put Venezuela on the regional geopolitical map.

650 words 2100 GMT by Laura Bonilla. Picture

Venezuela-politics-Chavez-Cuba,ANALYSIS

HAVANA

Cuba could be forced to speed up its economic reforms following the death of its main benefactor, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, whose oil-backed largesse kept Havana afloat for years, analysts say.

600 words 2000 GMT by Francisco Jara. Picture.

-- AMERICAS --

US-politics-economy-Obama,lead

WASHINGTON,

US President Barack Obama will meet rival Republican senators for a rare dinner, as he makes a fresh attempt to end an ugly tax and spending stalemate holding back economic growth and casting a cloud over his second term.

700 words 2200 GMT by Stephen Collinson

US-economy-growth-bank-report,2ndlead

WASHINGTON

The US economy chugged along at a lackluster pace in recent weeks, according to a Federal Reserve report that gave little reason to believe the Fed will abandon its loose monetary policy any time soon.

600 words 2030 GMT by Veronica Smith

US-Iraq-conflict-aid,lead

WASHINGTON

After invading Iraq ten years ago, the United States spent $60 billion on a vast reconstruction effort that left behind few successes and a litany of failures, an inspector general's report says.

650 words 1930 GMT by Dan De Luce. File Picture

US-crime-trial-cannibal-rights,FOCUS

NEW YORK

The trial of New York's so-called "cannibal cop" ends Thursday, leaving the jury with lots of gruesome testimony to digest and one troubling question: at what point does fantasy become real?

650 words 1930 GMT by Sebastian Smith

-- EUROPE --

Vatican-religion-pope,lead

VATICAN CITY

US cardinals in Rome abruptly cancel their media briefings in a victory for pre-conclave secrecy as workers ready the Sistine Chapel for the historic ceremony to elect the next pope.

700 words moved by Ella Ide. Picture. Video. Graphic.

Also moved: Vatican-religion-pope-candidates,FOCUS

Science-astronomy-comet

PARIS

A rare bright comet shows up in the northern hemisphere this week, cruising past Earth with promise of spectacular naked-eye viewings of the giant ball of ice and dust streaking the twilight sky with a blazing tail.

600 words moved by Mariette le Roux. File Picture.

-- AFRICA --

Kenya-vote,WRAP

NAIROBI

The party of Kenyan presidential frontrunner Uhuru Kenyatta describes as suspect the inclusion of a mountain of spoiled ballots in results of elections two days ago, as frustrations grow over the slow pace of the count.

700 words 1930 GMT by Aymeric Vincenot and Boris Bachorz. Picture. Video. Graphic.

Mali-conflict,WRAP

PARIS

Clashes between French troops and Islamist fighters in Mali kill one French soldier and around 10 rebels, as President Francois Hollande claims the operation has wiped out "terrorist kingpins".

500 words 2030 GMT by Dominique Chabrol. Picture. Video.

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Iraq-war-10years-UN-Blix-Iran,FOCUS

DUBAI

Ten years after the US-led invasion on Iraq, ex-UN inspector Hans Blix urges world powers to avoid committing the same error by going to war against Iran based on fears it is developing nuclear weapons.

650 words moved by Acil Tabbara. Picture. Video

-- ASIA --

Afghanistan-unrest-military,2ndlead

KABUL

Taliban militants have killed 17 captured Afghan soldiers in the far northeast in one of the deadliest single attacks on local forces in recent years, officials say.

500 words moved by Usman Sharifi

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