News Editor: Dave Clark
Tel: +1 202 414 0541
-- TOP STORIES --
+ Obama pushes two-state solution on Israel trip
+ Kurdish rebel leader calls for ceasefire with Turkey
+ Syria car bomb kills pro-regime cleric
+ US launches probe in alleged Syria chemical weapons strikes
In a powerful direct appeal to Israelis, President Barack Obama insists that a two-state peace with the Palestinians can still be forged and is the only hope of true security for the Jewish state.
800 words 1930 GMT by Stephen Collinson. Graphic. Picture. Video
Jailed Kurdish rebel chief Abdullah Ocalan calls for a new ceasefire, telling his fighters to lay down their arms and withdraw from Turkish soil, raising hopes for an end to a three-decade conflict that has cost tens of thousands of lives.
750 words 2000 GMT by Nicolas Cheviron. Picture. Video
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A suicide bombing rocks a central Damascus mosque, killing the most senior pro-regime Sunni cleric in Syria and at least 15 people, state news media and a watchdog group report.
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The United Nations will investigate whether chemical weapons have been used in the Syria conflict, UN leader Ban Ki-Moon announces.
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-- CYPRUS BANKING CRISIS --
Cyprus is examining an overhaul of its banking sector to avoid financial meltdown after a European Central Bank threat to pull the plug on emergency funding for the island's banks.
800 words 2000 GMT by Charlie Charalambous. Graphic. Picture. Video
Anxious Cypriots queue outside Popular Bank ATM machines to withdraw their cash as fears rose that the country's banking meltdown will mean its second largest bank closes for good.
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-- AMERICAS --
Eight US senators crafting an overhaul of immigration policy are on the verge of agreeing on a deal that could bring some 11 million undocumented migrants out of the shadows, according to one of the lawmakers.
600 words 2000 GMT by Michael Mathes
The White House will keep pushing for tough new gun ownership laws despite lack of support in Congress, Vice President Joe Biden says, calling on politicians to show "courage."
500 words 1930 GMT by Sebastian Smith. Pictures
Foreign ministers and senior officials from around the Americas meet here Friday to seek agreement on the proposed reform of a human rights body that has sharply divided the region.
600 words 1930 GMT by Diego Urdaneta
-- ASIA --
A car bomb tears through a Pakistani refugee camp, killing 15 people including women and children and heightening security fears before a May general election.
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North Korea threatens strikes on US military bases in Japan and Guam, escalating tensions as suspicion deepens that Pyongyang was behind a cyber attack on South Korean broadcasters and banks.
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-- EUROPE --
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano says he will announce on Friday his decision as to who will be asked to form a government in the eurozone's third biggest economy following inconclusive elections, amid rising tensions in the single currency bloc.
700 words 1930 GMT by Ella Ide. Graphic. Picture. Video
CANTERBURY, United Kingdom
The new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, is enthroned, taking over the leadership of 80 million Anglicans worldwide in a service featuring African dancers and in which a woman archdeacon played a key role.
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Scotland's nationalist First Minister Alex Salmond announces that the referendum on Scotland's independence will take place on September 18, 2014.
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Nobel peace laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel says Pope Francis was "not complicit" with Argentina's brutal military dictatorship following claims from left-wingers that he failed to speak out against the regime.
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A diplomatic row over a Turkish boy adopted by Dutch lesbian parents clouds a visit to the Netherlands by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan aimed at strengthening ties.
650 words moved by Jan Hennop. File picture
-- AFRICA --
Twenty-nine people, including two who survived by clinging to a cooking gas cylinder, have been rescued after a boat capsized off Nigeria last week with an estimated 128 people on board, an emergency official says.
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-- MIDDLE EAST --
Iran's supreme leader signals openness for the first time to US offers to hold direct talks on his country's disputed nuclear drive, but voices pessimism over the chances of a breakthrough.
600 words moved by Mohammad Davari. Picture. Video