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AFP 0100 GMT News Advisory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Duty Editor: John Weaver Tel: +852 2829 6211

-- TOP STORIES --

+ North Korea says at war with South

+ Mandela is 'making steady progress'

+ Cyprus eases some bank restrictions

+ Pope to celebrate Easter vigil mass

NKorea-SKorea-US-military,lead-WRAP

SEOUL

North Korea says it has formally entered a "state of war" with South Korea, and warns that any provocation would swiftly escalate into an all-out nuclear conflict.

700 words 0300 GMT

SAfrica-politics-health-Mandela,WRAP

JOHANNESBURG

Nelson Mandela is "in good spirits" and making progress as he spends a third night in hospital for a lung infection, South Africa's government says, seeking to soothe fears over the revered peace icon.

700 words 0230 GMT by Andrew Beatty. Picture. Video. Graphic

Cyprus-economy-EU-finance,WRAP

NICOSIA

Cypriots hope for further relaxation of the first capital controls in the eurozone after authorities on the bailed-out island dropped all domestic restrictions on credit and debit card payments.

650 words 0330 GMT by Charlie Charalambous. Picture. Video. Graphic

Vatican-religion-pope-Easter,WRAP

VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis is to celebrate his first Easter vigil mass after praying for peace in a Middle East "torn apart by injustice and conflicts" at his first Good Friday.

500 words 0430 GMT by Dario Thuburn. Picture

Also moving: Vatican-religion-pope-Islam,FOCUS

-- ASIA --

China-landslide-mine-Tibet

BEIJING

Rescue teams comb a mountainside in Tibet in a huge operation to search for survivors after 83 workers were buried in a giant landslide at an altitude of 4,600 metres in a gold mining area of Tibet.

550 words 0230 GMT by Neil Connor

-- AFRICA --

Congo-China-diplomacy-economy-trade,WRAP

BRAZZAVILLE

China's new President Xi Jinping signs deals worth several million dollars with his Congolese counterpart in sectors as varied as banking and infrastructure, on the final leg of his three-nation Africa tour.

650 words moved by Laudes Martial Mbon. Picture. Video

Centrafrica-unrest,WRAP

BANGUI

The Red Cross in the Central African Republic says it has found 78 bodies in the streets of the capital Bangui since it fell to rebels last weekend, as jittery residents wait to hear about a new government.

650 words moved by Patrick Fort. Picture. Video

Also moving: Centrafrica-unrest-rebels,FOCUS

-- AMERICAS --

US-stocks-insider-company-SAC-arrest,2ndlead

NEW YORK

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation arrests a trader from SAC Capital accused of insider trading, in the latest push by authorities against the controversial hedge fund.

600 words moved by John Biers

US-attacks-Guantanamo-strike

WASHINGTON

His body ravaged and weakened by a 50-day hunger strike to protest alleged mistreatment of Korans at Guantanamo military prison, Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahab has a message for his loved ones.

600 words 0300 GMT by Chantal Valery.

US-politics-Congress,FOCUS

WASHINGTON

No serious US political campaign is complete without digging deep into an opponent's past -- and the shovels are already out for the 2014 and 2016 polls.

800 words moved by Ivan Couronne

Lifestyle-US-film-guns-politics,FOCUS

NEW YORK

Joining a cacophonous debate over gun violence in the United States, a new film, "Blue Caprice," probes behind the headlines of a 2002 shooting spree that terrorized the area around nation's capital.

500 words 0130 GMT by Veronique Dupont. Picture

Lifestyle-US-IT-Internet-games-software-videogames-GDC

SAN FRANCISCO

The booming popularity of play on smartphones or tablet computers in a realm once dominated by videogame consoles is a hot theme at the major Game Developers Conference.

750 words 0130 GMT by Glenn Chapman

-- EUROPE --

Italy-politics,WRAP

ROME

Italy is in suspense ahead of President Giorgio Napolitano's expected proposal for who should lead the eurozone's third largest economy after elections that left no clear winner.

450 words 0130 GMT by Dario Thuburn

Belgium-politics-Fbl,FOCUS

BRUSSELS

The success of their 'Red Devils' is a rare rallying point for football mad Belgium, otherwise deeply divided between its Flemish-speaking north and a Francophone south ahead of general elections next year.

650 words 0145 GMT. Video

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Syria-conflict-Arab-opposition,FOCUS

BEIRUT

The Arab League's decision to grant Syria's seat to the opposition could prove to be nothing more than a symbolic act as long as there is no real backing for a rebel government on the ground, opponents and analysts say.

600 words 0130 GMT by Serene Assir

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130329/afp-0100-gmt-news-advisory