Duty Editor: Peter Hutchison Tel: +852 2829 6211
-- TOP STORIES --
+ Obama does not envisage sending US troops to Syria
+ Raging California wildfires almost triple in size
+ US stocks hit new records on strong employment data
+ Malaysian election rivals in last-ditch campaigning
President Barack Obama comes close to ruling out deploying US troops to Syria, saying he did not foresee a scenario in which that would be beneficial to the United States or Syria.
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We have also moved: Mexico-US-CostaRica-diplomacy,update-WRAP
A raging California wildfire nearly triples in size as it threatens 4,000 homes, although firefighters say they have gained more control over it.
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Solid job creation numbers for April push the US unemployment rate down to 7.5 percent and sparking a surge in confidence in the US economy that sends stock markets flying to new records.
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Malaysia's bitter political rivals launch a last-ditch campaign sprint on the eve of Sunday elections that are the first in the country's history in which the long-ruling regime faces the possibility of defeat.
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-- ASIA --
Pakistan's tribal belt may have been dubbed the world's most dangerous place by the United States, but enthusiastic tribesmen are defying the Taliban to vote for change at next week's polls.
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Asia's new football chief says he was the victim of a smear campaign involving a government after his election was overshadowed by claims of vote-buying and human rights abuses.
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-- AMERICAS --
MOFFETT AIRFIELD, California
The first-ever manned airplane that can fly by day or night on the sun's power alone soars over the western United States on the first leg of cross-country journey.
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South Korea's new leader visits Washington next week on a mission to present a united front to a bellicose North Korea and also to safeguard her country's increasingly outsized role in the world.
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The National Rifle Association opens its annual convention in combative style, positioning itself as champion of American freedoms in the face of growing pressure for tougher gun laws.
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-- EUROPE --
The anti-immigration UK Independence Party breaks through as a major political force following local elections which delivered a bloody nose to Britain's ruling coalition.
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Japan and Turkey sign a long-awaited deal to build a sprawling nuclear power plant on Turkey's Black Sea coast, a milestone for the Japanese nuclear industry as it recovers from the 2011 Fukushima disaster.
600 words moved by Fulya Ozerkan. Picture. Video
-- MIDDLE EAST --
Syrian troops bombard Sunni areas of the Mediterranean city of Banias, a monitoring group says, warning of a new "massacre," as Washington says for the first time it was looking at arming rebels.
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LATAKIA PROVINCE, Syria
Crouching, belly-crawling into sniper nests in their rugged mountain redoubt, Syrian rebels have started training for a prolonged guerrilla war against stubbornly resilient regime forces.
800 words moved by Anuj Chopra. Picture. Video
-- AFRICA --
Around 100 miners are estimated to have died inside a collapsed gold mine in Sudan's Darfur region and nine rescuers trying to free them are now trapped, a miner says.
650 words moved by Abdelmoneim Abu Edris Ali. File picture