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AFP 0100 GMT News Advisory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Duty Editor: Mike Patterson Tel: +852 2829 6211

-- TOP STORIES --

+ US bolsters missile defence against North Korea threat

+ Vatican rejects 'Dirty War' allegations against pope

+ Hugo Chavez laid to rest after final tour of Caracas

+ Zimbabwe votes on constitution to curb president's power

US-NKorea-military-missile-weapons,lead

WASHINGTON

The United States will bolster its defenses against a possible North Korean missile strike by siting 14 more interceptors in Alaska, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says.

700 words 0130 GMT by Dan De Luce. Picture

Vatican-religion-pope

VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis will receive world journalists at the dawn of an already tradition-breaking leadership for a troubled Catholic Church on Saturday after the Vatican rejected claims he did nothing to save lives during Argentina's "Dirty War".

800 words 0200 GMT by Dario Thuburn. Graphic. Picture. Video

Venezuela-politics-Chavez-march,3rdlead

CARACAS

Late president Hugo Chavez is laid to rest at the headquarters of his failed 1992 coup attempt, a month before smap elections to pick his successor.

750 words moved by Jordi Miro. Graphic. Picture. Video

Zimbabwe-vote

HARARE

Zimbabweans vote on a new constitution that would curb President Robert Mugabe's powers and pave the way for fresh elections later in the year.

600 words 0230 GMT by Susan Njanji-Matetakufa. Picture. Video

Also moving: Zimbabwe-vote-constitution

Zimbabwe-vote-unrest-timeline

-- AMERICAS --

US-Congress-finance-banking-company-JPMorgan,lead

WASHINGTON

US senators blast banking giant JPMorgan Chase over its mammoth trading losses on complex derivatives last year and call for tougher regulatory scrutiny of the banking industry.

700 words moved

US-IT-Internet-court-politics-security

SAN FRANCISCO

A US judge orders the FBI to stop its "pervasive" use of National Security letters to secretly snoop on phone and email records, ruling that the heavily used tactic was unconstitutional.

700 words 0130 GMT by Glenn Chapman

US-politics-Republicans

OXON HILL, Maryland

Months after his presidential defeat, Mitt Romney tells fellow Republicans to buck up and set a course for the White House, as he seeks to uplift a conservative movement that is struggling to find its way.

600 words moved by Michael Mathes. Picture

Also moving: US-politics-Republicans-offbeat

US-science-biology-geology

WASHINGTON

Diverse underground eco-systems buried deep beneath the Earth's crust may offer clues to the origins of life on the planet, studies reveal.

500 words 0130 GMT by Jean-Louis Santini

Entertainment-US-Mali-music-festival-SXSW-Terakaft

AUSTIN, Texas

It's been years that conflict in northern Mali sent Liya Ag Ablil into a life in exile in Algeria, but as he takes his desert blues to the wider world, he looks forward to peace back home.

500 words 0300 GMT by Robert MacPherson. Picture

-- ASIA --

China-politics-congress-minorities,FOCUS

BEIJING

Wearing an embroidered cap signalling her Uighur ethnicity, Rehangul Yimir's presence in the Great Hall of the People symbolises Beijing's efforts to gloss over simmering frictions among its disparate peoples.

800 words 0300 GMT by Kelly Olsen. Picture

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Syria-conflict,newseries-WRAP

DAMASCUS

Syria's devastating conflict enters its third year with EU leaders postponing talks on British and French calls for an easing of the bloc's embargo to allow arms supplies to the rebels.

750 words 0300 GMT. Graphic. Picture

 

Iraq-unrest,lead-WRAP

BAGHDAD

Separate gun attacks north of Baghdad kill 12 security members -- eight soldiers and four militiamen -- in a second deadly day in Iraq as it nears the 10th anniversary since the US-led invasion.

500 words moved by Prashant Rao

Also moving: Iraq-war-10years-defence-weapons,FOCUS

-- EUROPE --

EU-finance-public-debt-Cyprus,newseries

BRUSSELS

Eurozone finance ministers haggle through the night over trimmed-down Cyprus bailout plans seen as key to the bloc's stability.

600 words 0400 GMT by Roddy Thomson. Pictures. Video

We have already moved: Cyprus-politics-economy-factfile,FACTS

 

Russia-politics-corruption-internet-opposition,FOCUS

MOSCOW

Bloggers who oppose Russian President Vladimir Putin are targeting top lawmakers loyal to the Kremlin with scandalous revelations about their luxury apartments and jet-setting lifestyles which run counter to their patriotic rhetoric.

650 words 0300 GMT by Olga Nedbaeva. File picture

 

RugbyU-6Nations,WRAP

CARDIFF

History beckons for both Grand Slam chasers England and defending champions Wales when they meet at the Millennium Stadium in the key match of the final day of the 2013 Six Nations Championship.

650 words 0200 GMT by Julian Guyer

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