AFP 0100 GMT News Advisory

Duty Editor: John Weaver Tel: +852 2829 6211


+ US to boost missile defences after N. Korea threat

+ US offers $5 mn bounty for Uganda rebel chief Kony

+ First clues in search for universe's dark matter



The United States scrambles to reinforce its Pacific missile defences, preparing to send ground-based interceptors to Guam, as North Korea says it has authorised plans for nuclear strikes on US targets.

700 words 0230 GMT by Jung Ha-Won. Picture. Graphic. Video



The United States offers $5 million for the capture of Lord's Resistance Army chief Joseph Kony, one of the world's most wanted men, and posts rewards for three other rebel leaders evading trial for war crimes.

700 words moved by Jo Biddle

Also moved: Uganda-CentrAfrica-DRCongo-unrest-Sudan-rebels-Kony,PROFILE



A massive instrument circling the globe aboard the International Space Station has provided a first glimpse of what may be mysterious dark matter in the universe, experts say.

550 words moved by Kerry Sheridan. File Picture

-- EUROPE --



A Spanish judge names King Juan Carlos's daughter Princess Cristina as a suspect in a corruption case, dealing a spectacular blow to the prestige of the royal family.

700 words moved by Elodie Cuzin. Video. File picture



Cyprus bank workers are to go on strike over fears that pension funds may be at risk under the country's crippling bailout, after the new finance minister vowed to do "whatever it takes" to right the economy.

650 words 0230 GMT by Charlie Charalambous. Graphic. Picture

Also moved: Cyprus-economy-EU-finance-aid-food



Cyprus looks set to top the agenda at the European Central Bank's policy meeting, or -- in ECB chief Mario Draghi's own words -- be the financial markets' "angst of the week," analysts say.

600 words 0130 GMT by Simon Morgan. File picture



World powers meet negotiators from Iran in Kazakhstan on Friday in the hope of seizing a possible window of opportunity presented by rare signs of progress in February talks over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme.

650 words 0300 GMT by Dmitry Zaks



DENVER, Colorado

A defiant President Barack Obama piles pressure on senators despite signs that his gun reform drive, launched when America was in trauma from the Newtown school massacre, is foundering.

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LA PLATA, Argentina

Argentina's government declares three days of national mourning after massive flooding kills 54 people in Buenos Aires and the nearby university city of La Plata.

600 words 0200 GMT by Liliana Samuel. Picture. Graphic. Video



Facebook will on Thursday unveil its "home" on the Android smartphone, a move expected to tie the leading social network's services tightly into mobile software.

700 words 0200 GMT by Glenn Chapman



Secretary of State John Kerry is plunging back into the Middle East with his third trip in a month, foraging for signs that Israel and the Palestinians are ready to make tough sacrifices for peace.

700 words 0230 by Jo Biddle



ABU DIS, Palestinian Territories

Palestinians are to hold a funeral for a prisoner who died in an Israeli jail, after Israeli soldiers killed a 16-year-old Palestinian following violent protests sparked by his death.

650 words 0400 GMT. Picture. Video

-- ASIA --


HERAT, Afghanistan

Taliban militants storm an Afghan court, killing at least 44 people in a bid to free insurgents standing trial, officials say, in the deadliest attack for more than a year.

700 words moved by Mohammad Aref Karimi


SANGAW, Afghanistan

Since Haji Abdul Samad lost his leg in a minefield more than 20 years ago, he has unearthed at least 1,000 explosives and become one of Afghanistan's most experienced de-miners.

750 words 0300 GMT Joris Fioriti. Picture. Video



Gleaming new helicopters and planes worth millions of dollars are on show at Beijing's first "aircraft supermarket", but some wealthy private buyers will still face curbs when taking to the skies.

600 words 0230 GMT by Tom Hancock. Picture. Video

-- AFRICA --



African leaders say they will not recognise Central African Republic's new self-proclaimed leader, as the nation's post-coup crisis comes under the spotlight at a regional summit in Chad.

750 words moved by Martin Zoutane. Picture