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AFP 0500 GMT News Advisory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Duty Editor: James Hossack Tel: +852 2829 6211

-- TOP STORIES --

+ Hugo Chavez lies in state in open casket

+ Syrian rebels capture 21 UN peacekeepers

+ Frustration mounts over Kenya vote count

Venezuela-politics-Chavez,newseries-WRAP

CARACAS

The body of late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez lies in state in a half-open casket at a Caracas military academy after throngs of weeping supporters swarm the streets of the capital to bid farewell.

900 words 0630 GMT by Laurent Thomet. Picture. Graphic. Video

We have also moved: Venezuela-politics-Chavez-Caracas,lead-SCENE

Syria-conflict,WRAP

DAMASCUS

UN officials say negotiations are under way with Syrian rebels who seized 21 UN peacekeepers in the Golan Heights ceasefire zone between Syria and Israel, as rebels take total control of the key northern city of Raqa.

850 words moved. Picture. Video

Kenya-vote,3rdlead-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.

750 words moved. Picture. Video

-- AMERICAS --

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 the "petro-diplomacy" which helped put Venezuela on the geopolitical map.

750 words moved by Laura Bonilla Cal

Also moved: Venezuela-politics-Chavez-Cuba,ANALYSIS

US-politics-intelligence-Congress,newseries

WASHINGTON

A Republican senator seeking to block President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the CIA is vowing to speak as long as it takes to do so, citing concern about drone strikes on US soil.

750 words 0530 GMT GMT by Michael Mathes. Picture

US-politics-economy

WASHINGTON

President Barack Obama is hitting on a novel antidote to Washington's endless cycle of political crises: breaking bread with Republicans.

850 words 0530 GMT by Stephen Collinson

Stocks-US-record,ANALYSIS

WASHINGTON

The combination of record low interest rates and slow but steady growth mean US markets can still power higher, even after the Dow punched its way to an all-time high, analysts say.

700 words moved by Paul Handley

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 moved by Sebastian Smith

-- EUROPE --

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

ECB-EU-eurozone-bank-rate-forex

FRANKFURT

The European Central Bank is set to keep its key interest rates steady at a policy meeting on Thursday, despite concerns about the destabilising effects for the euro area of political gridlock in Italy.

500 words moved. File Picture

Malta-vote-election,ADVANCER

VALLETTA

The tiny Mediterranean island of Malta, a rare example of a eurozone state with low unemployment, respectable economic growth and solid public finances, goes to the polls on Saturday.

650 words 0530 GMT by Matthew Xuereb. Picture

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Egypt-vote,5thlead

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 moved

US-Iraq-conflict-aid,lead

WASHINGTON

After invading Iraq 10 years ago, the United States spent $60 billion on a vast reconstruction effort that left behind few successes and a litany of failures, an auditor's report says.

700 words moved by Dan De Luce

-- ASIA --

NKorea-nuclear-military-UN

UNITED NATIONS

The United States and China are seeking to tighten UN sanctions screws on North Korea after its widely condemned nuclear bomb test last month.

600 words 0530 GMT by Tim Witcher

Japan-disaster-accident-nuclear-anniversary,ADVANCER

TOKYO

In the months after a catastrophic tsunami smashed into Japan, killing 19,000 and sparking a nuclear disaster, optimists said it could mark some kind of much-needed turning point. Now, after two years of political paralysis, some dare to hope an energised new government might actually make a difference.

800 words moved by Hiroshi Hiyama. File picture. Graphic

Also moved: Japan-disaster-accident-nuclear-anniversary-family,FOCUS

Japan-disaster-accident-nuclear-anniversary,FACTS

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