Duty editor: Susan Stumme
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-- TOP STORIES --
+ US says Syria chemical weapons use likely
+ Dozens found alive as Bangladesh factory toll hits 250
+ Boston suspects planned Times Square attack: NY mayor
+ Spain unemployment hits record high
The United States says for the first time that Syria had likely used chemical weapons against rebel forces, but emphasized spy agencies were still not 100 percent sure of the assessment.
800 words 2100 GMT by Tangi Quemener. Picture
Dozens of workers are found alive as they huddled in the wreckage of a collapsed garment factory bloc in Bangladesh, a rare success for rescuers who have pulled out 250 bodies.
800 words 1930 GMT by Shafiq Alam. Pictures. Video. Graphic.
We have also moved: Bangladesh-building-disaster-textile-safety,FOCUS
The ethnic Chechen brothers accused of carrying out the Boston marathon bombing planned a "horrific" new attack in Times Square, New York mayor Michael Bloomberg says.
650 words 1930 GMT by Tim Witcher. Picture. Video. Graphic
Also moved: US-attacks-Russia-Dagestan,2ndlead
Spain's unemployment rate surges past 27 percent to a new record in the first quarter as a deep recession ravages the eurozone's fourth-largest economy.
650 words moved by Sylvie Groult. Picture
-- AMERICAS --
US President Barack Obama lauds George W. Bush for facing a storm of terrorism head on, putting ideology aside as his predecessor opens a new library that makes his case for history.
800 words 2200 GMT by Stephen Collinson. Picture. Video
US aviation regulators give formal approval to Boeing's electric system modifications for the 787 Dreamliner, clearing the way for it to return to flight after being grounded since January due to two battery meltdowns.
650 words 1930 GMT by Veronica Smith. File picture
-- EUROPE --
The World Trade Organisation is set to have its first full-term leader from an emerging country, after the candidates of Brazil and Mexico made the final round to succeed Frenchman Pascal Lamy, a source tells AFP.
550 words moved by Jonathan Fowler. File Picture. File Video
Also moved: Trade-WTO-leadership-Brazil-Azevedo
President Vladimir Putin vows there will be no throwback to Stalin-era repressions in Russia as he seeks to bolster his image as the country's unchallenged strongman in the first nationwide phone-in of his new Kremlin term.
650 words moved by Anna Smolchenko. Picture. Video
-- MIDDLE EAST --
The Israeli air force shoots down a drone from Lebanon off the northern coast of the Jewish state in an incident described by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as "extremely grave."
500 words moved by John Davison
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki warns of a return to "sectarian civil war" as 179 people are killed over three days and gunmen are given 48 hours to vacate a town they have seized.
650 words 2000 GMT by W.G. Dunlop. Graphic. Picture. Video
We have also moved: Iraq-politics-unrest-demonstration,update-FOCUS
Israel's prison service caused the death of an Australian-Israeli known as "Prisoner X" by failing to prevent him from committing suicide in jail, a court document released on Thursday says.
600 words moved by Jonah Mandel
-- ASIA --
Asian countries urge renewed vigilance against a spread of H7N9 bird flu after Taiwan reported a case of the deadly strain, the world's first outside mainland China.
700 words 1930 GMT by Amber Wang. Graphic. Picture. Video
China welcomes French President Francois Hollande with a deal potentially worth billions for 60 Airbus planes as he becomes the first Western leader to pay court to Beijing's new supremo.
700 words moved by Herve Asquin. Picture. Video
South Korea gives North Korea 24 hours to agree to formal talks to restart operations at their joint Kaesong industrial zone, warning of "significant measures" if Pyongyang declines.
700 words moved by Park Chan-Kyong. Graphic. Picture
China warns that the United States is turning away major investment from the growing Asian economy after several high-profile firms face obstacles on security grounds.
550 words 1930 GMT by Shaun Tandon
-- AFRICA --
The UN Security Council unanimously backs sending a 12,600-strong international force to Mali to take over from French and African troops battling Islamist guerrillas.
650 words moved by Andre Viollaz. Graphic
The UN Security Council calls for greater respect for human rights in disputed Western Sahara, but Morocco holds off US efforts for UN investigations into abuses.
550 words 2015 GMT by Tim Witcher