AFP 0100 GMT News Advisory

Duty Editor: John Weaver Tel: +852 2829 6211


+ Boston bomb probe finds image of possible suspect

+ Obama attacks senators after gun reforms blocked

+ Letter to Obama tests positive for poison ricin

+ Assad says West will pay for 'supporting' Al-Qaeda


BOSTON, Massachusetts

US investigators say they have found an image of a suspect who may have planted the homemade bombs that killed three people and maimed scores more at the Boston marathon.

750 words 0200 GMT by Tim Witcher. Picture. Graphic. Video



Bristling with anger, President Barack Obama brands defeat of his gun reform drive in the US Senate as "shameful," and accuses lawmakers of caving in to the powerful firearms lobby.

700 words 0130 GMT by Stephen Collinson. Picture

Also moved: US-politics-guns-Senate,SCENE



A letter addressed to US President Barack Obama tests positive for ricin and officials arrest a suspect, hours after the incident and another poisoned mailing sparked alarm in Washington.

600 words 0130 GMT by Stephen Collinson



President Bashar al-Assad warns the West that it will pay a heavy price for its alleged support of Al-Qaeda in Syria and says his regime's defeat is not an option.

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BOSTON, Massachusetts

Boston University is grieving for brilliant Chinese student Lu Lingzi who was killed as she sampled American life at the city marathon that was hit by terrorist bombs.

450 words 0130 GMT by Mariano Andrade



Venezuela's Supreme Court rules out a recount of a disputed presidential vote won by the late Hugo Chavez's political heir Nicolas Maduro, upping the pressure on his rival to concede.

700 words 0300 GMT by Maria Isabel Sanchez. Picture. Video



Three years after a deadly explosion on a BP-leased drilling rig unleashed the worst environmental disaster in US history, the British energy giant is fighting to avoid billions in fines.

700 words 0200 GMT by Mira Oberman. File Picture

-- EUROPE --



Italy's two main political blocs agree to back a former trade unionist for president ahead of voting in parliament, heralding a possible end to a two-month impasse on a new government.

700 words 0130 GMT. Picture. Video

Also moving: Italy-vote-president-Vatican-pope




Margaret Thatcher is laid to rest with military pageantry and pockets of protests, in a funeral that reflected the polarising impact of Britain's longest-serving post-war prime minister.

950 words moved by Alice Ritchie. Picture. Graphic. Video. Live report



Spain's centre-right government, under pressure from the Catholic Church and its ultraconservative wing, has vowed to 'promptly' tighten the nation's abortion laws, angering the opposition Socialist Party which had eased access to the procedure.

650 words 0200 GMT by Ingrid Bazinet



Hollywood names and arthouse directors get to hear if they are in the frame for the Palme d'Or at next month's Cannes film festival, the world's leading cinema showcase.

550 words 0130 GMT by Helen Rowe

-- ASIA --



Global auto manufacturers will flock to China for its premier car show, affirming its importance as the world's largest vehicle market and the saviour of an industry pummelled by the European debt crisis and a weak US economy.

750 words 0300 GMT by Bill Savadove. Picture


SUKKUR, Pakistan

Stereotyped as dancers, beggars and prostitutes, Pakistan's vibrant but shunned transgender community has struck out into politics, with its members contesting elections for the first time.

800 words 0400 GMT by Khurram Shahzad. Picture. Video

-- AFRICA --




Sudan's government and rebels in South Kordofan state say they are ready to talk about ending a two-year-long war at a planned meeting in Ethiopia next week.

600 words moved by Ian Timberlake