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AFP 0500 GMT news advisory

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(GlobalPost/GlobalPost)

News Editor: Sarah Stewart

Tel: +852 2829 6211

-- TOP STORIES --

+ India court rejects pharma patent in landmark ruling

+ S. Korea vows strong response to North provocation

+ Mandela's health improves with pneumonia treatment

India-Switzerland-Novartis-pharma-court-patent,update-WRAP

NEW DELHI

India's Supreme Court rejects a patent bid by Swiss drug giant Novartis, in a landmark ruling that activists say will protect access to cheap generic versions of life-saving drugs in developing nations.

700 words 0630 GMT by Penny MacRae. File pictures

NKorea-SKorea-US-military,update-WRAP

SEOUL

South Korea's new president promises a strong military response to any North Korean provocation after Pyongyang announced that the two countries were now in a state of war.

700 words 0730 GMT by Jung Ha-Won. Graphic. Picture. Video

SAfrica-politics-health-Mandela,WRAP-UPDATE

JOHANNESBURG

Nelson Mandela shows signs of improvement as he spends his sixth day in hospital for the treatment of a recurrence of pneumonia, his third hospitalisation in four months.

600 words 0800 GMT by Susan Njanji. Picture. Video. Graphic

-- ASIA --

Myanmar-politics-media,WRAP

YANGON

Private daily newspapers hit the streets in Myanmar for the first time in half a century, under new freedoms that represent a revolution for media which were shackled under military rule.

600 words 0600 GMT by Hla Hla Htay. Picture. Video

India-tourism-women-crime,lead

NEW DELHI

The number of foreign tourists arriving in India has dropped by 25 percent -- and women by 35 percent -- in the past three months after the brutal gang-rape of a student last December which made global headlines, a survey finds.

450 words 0630 GMT by Rachel O'Brien. File Pictures

-- EUROPE --

Vatican-religion-pope-Easter,update-WRAP

VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis prays for a "political solution" in Syria and for "reconciliation" on the Korean peninsula in his first Easter Sunday message in front of a crowd in St Peter's Square.

600 words moved by Dario Thuburn. Picture. Video

Fbl-ENG-Pr-Sunderland-ONeill-DiCanio,3rdlead

LONDON

Paolo Di Canio is named the new coach of Premier League strugglers Sunderland, a move which sparks the resignation from the club board of a former British foreign minister outraged by the Italian's right-wing views.

500 words moved

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Egypt-politics-rights-media,update-WRAP

CAIRO

Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef is released on bail after nearly five hours of questioning over alleged insults to the president and religion, highlighting concerns over freedom of expression in post-revolt Egypt.

550 words moved by Jailan Zayan. Picture. Video

Syria-conflict-Golan-Druze,FOCUS

MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights

The Golan's native Druze have remained fiercely loyal to Damascus through 46 years of Israeli occupation but as the Syrian civil war draws ever closer, it is dividing the tight-knit community.

600 words moved by John Davison. Picture

-- AFRICA --

Mali-conflict,WRAP

BAMAKO

Malian troops sweep the fabled city of Timbuktu for remaining Islamist fighters after a weekend battle that left seven dead and forced France to dispatch reinforcements and fighter jets to help Mali's army.

550 words moved by Serge Daniel. File picture

CentrAfrica-unrest-politics,WRAP

BANGUI

The Central African Republic's prime minister names mostly rebels and members of the former opposition to his new post-coup government, as reports emerge of child soldiers killed in the fight for the capital.

600 words moved

Kenya-vote-court,WRAP-UPDATE

NAIROBI

Kenyan police maintain tight security even as calm returns after a court ruling upholding Uhuru Kenyatta's presidential election win sparked anger among his rival's supporters, leading to riots that left two people dead.

650 words moved

-- AMERICAS --

Entertainment-US-music-Jackson-trial,ADVANCER

LOS ANGELES

King of Pop Michael Jackson's mother is seeking billions of dollars from tour promoter AEG Live over her son's 2009 death, in a trial that will finally get underway in Los Angeles in days.

700 words moved by Michael Thurston. File picture

Venezuela-vote-politics-Maduro,update-EXCLUSIVE-INTERVIEW

BARINAS, Venezuela

Nicolas Maduro was speechless when Hugo Chavez first told him he may have to carry on the Venezuelan leftist leader's legacy, but he now insists the "revolution is united" behind him.

850 words moved by Beatriz Lecumberri. Picture. Video

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