AFP 1900 GMT news advisory

Duty editor: Dave Clark

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+ Russia in stand-off with US over fugitive leaker

+ South Africa awaits news on Nelson Mandela's failing health

+ Obama lays out major new US plan to fight climate change

+ Saudi presses for end to 'genocidal' Syrian regime



Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals that US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden is still in a Moscow airport transit zone, rejecting calls for his extradition to the United States.

900 words 1930 GMT by Dmitry Zaks and Maria Antonova. Picture. Video. Graphic.

SAfrica-politics-health-Mandela, WRAP

QUNU, South Africa

Nelson Mandela's close family huddles at his rural homestead to discuss the failing health of the South African anti-apartheid icon who is fighting for his life in hospital.

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US President Barack Obama lays out a broad new national plan to fight climate change, using executive powers to get around "flat earth" climate deniers who have blocked action in Congress.

700 words 2000 GMT by Stephen Collinson

We will also move: Science-US-climate-warming-politics-Obama,lead-REAX


JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia presses for global action to end Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime, telling US Secretary of State John Kerry that the civil war had turned into "genocide".

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In a civil rights setback, the US Supreme Court strikes down a lynchpin portion of Voting Rights Act, telling Congress to rethink the formula used to determine if a state is rigging its electoral laws against minority groups.

600 words 2000 GMT by Chantal Valery



US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has earned both praise and condemnation from his fellow Americans, who are divided over whether his disclosures make him a whisteblowing hero or a self-absorbed traitor.

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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff meets senior lawyers and lawmakers to enlist support for a plan to defuse a wave of mass popular protests by embarking on sweeping political reform.

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With her call for a referendum on political reform, President Dilma Rousseff has regained the initiative after two weeks of mass street protests and deflected the heat onto Brazil's discredited Congress, analysts say.

650 words 2000 GMT by Yana Marull

-- AFRICA --




A UN peacekeeping force will take charge of security in Mali from July 1 but plans to hold a presidential election next month face "major" obstacles, officials say.

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South African traders dismiss fears of a "Mandela crash" when the icon dies, after steep selloffs hit the rand and Africa's largest stock exchange.

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A Berber politician is elected Libya's interim leader, the first member of the long oppressed minority to hold high office, but he faces a huge challenge to address growing international security concerns.

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-- EUROPE --




Czech President Milos Zeman appoints his leftist economic advisor Jiri Rusnok as the new prime minister after an unprecedented corruption scandal toppled his rightwing predecessor.

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Also moved: Czech-politics-corruption-Rusnok,PROFILE




After a three-year break, the European Union agrees to reopen EU membership talks with Turkey but delays them several months due to concerns notably from Germany over Ankara's tough crackdown on anti-government protests.

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The emir of gas-rich Qatar, a major actor on the world diplomatic stage and key backer of Arab Spring uprisings, steps down in favour of his 33-year-old son, Sheikh Tamim.

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SIDON, Lebanon

Lebanese security forces launch a manhunt for radical Sunni cleric Ahmad al-Assir, after clashes with his supporters in the southern city of Sidon killed 17 soldiers.

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We have also moved: Lebanon-unrest-Syria-conflict-music,PROFILE



-- ASIA --



Taliban gunmen and bombers using fake NATO identification attack an entrance to the Afghan presidential palace in the heart of Kabul, just a week after insurgent leaders opened an office in Qatar for peace talks.

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In the build-up to his 30th birthday last week, US fugitive Edward Snowden came to the sudden realisation over a dinner of pizza and Pepsi that Hong Kong may be a less welcoming refuge than he'd thought, his legal advisor says.

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A helicopter helping victims of devastating floods in northern India crashes near a pilgrimage site, killing all eight people on board, as fresh rains hampered the bid to rescue thousands still stranded.

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Official South and North Korean websites suffer what appear to be coordinated attacks from unidentified hackers on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, prompting Seoul to issue a general cyber attack alert.

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