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AFP 1900 GMT News Advisory

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Duty editor: Susan Stumme

Tel: +1 202 414 0541

-- TOP STORIES --

+ Ukraine govt survives no-confidence vote, protests continue

+ Thai police yield to protesters ahead of king's birthday

+ French experts rule out Arafat poisoning

+ Bolshoi dancer gets six years for acid attack

+ African, Asian nations agree to tackle illegal ivory trade

Ukraine-unrest-politics-EU-Russia,WRAP

KIEV

Ukraine's government survives a no-confidence vote after the prime minister apologises for a police crackdown on rallies, while demonstrators press ahead with protests over the ex-Soviet nation's scrapping of a key EU deal.

700 words 2000 GMT by Dmytro Gorshkov and Zoya Zhminko. Picture. Video

Also moved: Ukraine-unrest-politics-EU-Russia-history,FACTS

Thailand-politics-protest,WRAP

BANGKOK

Thai security forces abandon their defence of the government headquarters against a siege by protesters seeking to topple the prime minister, in a dramatic move that eases tensions ahead of the revered king's birthday.

750 words moved. Picture. Video. Graphics

Also moved: Thailand-politics-protest-army,FOCUS

France-Palestinians-Arafat-probe,WRAP

PARIS

French experts have ruled out a theory that Yasser Arafat was killed by poisoning and believe he may have died of natural causes, a source close to the probe into the Palestinian leader's death says.

750 words 2000 GMT by Sophie Deviller. File Picture

Also moved: France-Palestinians-Arafat-probe,CHRONO

Russia-ballet-entertainment-crime-court-dance,WRAP

MOSCOW

A Russian court sentences a Bolshoi dancer to six years in a penal colony for masterminding an acid attack that nearly blinded the famed company's artistic director.

700 words moved by Olga Rotenberg. Picture. File video.

Africa-Asia-Botswana-elephants-animal-environment,2ndlead

GABORONE, Botswana

African and Asian states including China and Thailand reach a deal to crack down on the illegal ivory trade, agreeing to "urgent measures" to secure dwindling elephant populations during a summit in Botswana.

500 words 2030 GMT

-- AMERICAS --

US-politics-bankruptcy-Detroit,3rdlead

CHICAGO

The US city of Detroit wins judicial approval to move forward with its bankruptcy filing despite objections from city workers fearful of losing their pensions and other creditors.

700 words 2030 GMT by Mira Oberman. Picture. Video

Brazil-economy-GDP,2ndlead

BRASILIA

The Brazilian economy contracted 0.5 percent in the third quarter of this year compared with the previous one, the first such contraction since early 2009.

600 words moved by Yana Marull

US-France-Lebanon-art-charity-Picasso

NEW YORK

Still looking for a Christmas present? Then enter a raffle to win a $1 million Picasso painting for just $135 a ticket, the first tombola of its kind raising money for a charity in Lebanon.

500 words 2100 GMT by Jennie Matthew. Picture

-- MIDDLE EAST --

Syria-conflict,WRAP

DAMASCUS

A suicide bombing in central Damascus kills four people, hours after jihadists and other rebels seized a historic Christian town north of the Syrian capital.

700 words 2000 GMT. Picture

Iraq-unrest,WRAP

BAGHDAD

Attacks in mostly Sunni Arab areas of Baghdad as well as northern and western Iraq kill at least 23 people, the latest in a months-long surge in bloodletting.

550 words moved by Salam Faraj. Picture

Also moved: Iraq-unrest-politics,ANALYSIS

-- EUROPE --

Britain-media-politics-intelligence,2ndlead

LONDON

The editor of Britain's Guardian newspaper defends its publication of leaks by Edward Snowden, telling lawmakers under fierce questioning that the daily's staff were "patriots".

600 words 1930 GMT by Alice Ritchie. Picture. Video

Sweden-crime-delinquency

STOCKHOLM

Swedish police warn of a growing trend of teenage gang rapes, often filmed or photographed on smartphones, as a high-profile case under a new rape law opens in the capital.

600 words moved by Anna Karin Lampou

-- ASIA --

NKorea-SKorea-politics-military-Kim,3rdlead

SEOUL

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's uncle, seen as the hardline regime's political regent, has apparently been purged and two associates executed, South Korea's spy agency says, nearly two years after the young supremo came to power.

650 words moved

China-US-diplomacy

BEIJING

US Vice President Joe Biden is set to arrive in Beijing amid rising friction over a Chinese air zone, needing to tread between bolstering ties with the rising power and underscoring alliances with Tokyo and Seoul.

500 words 2100 GMT

China-Britain-diplomacy,WRAP

BEIJING

Britain should recognise it is not a "big" power, but "just an old European country apt for travel and study", Chinese state-run media snap as Prime Minister David Cameron visits.

600 words moved. Picture

Also moved: China-justice-rights-corruption,lead

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