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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.
650 words 0630 GMT by Tangi Quemener
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.
650 words moved by Paul Handley. File Picture. File Video. Graphic
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.
600 words 0700 GMT by M. Jegathesan. Picture. Graphic. Video
-- 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.
800 words moved by Sajjad Tarakzai. Picture
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.
700 words moved by Talek Harris. File picture
-- 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.
750 words moved by Alice Ritchie. Picture. Video
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