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Reuters World News Highlights at 1400 GMT, Jan 10

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama will nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew to be his next Treasury secretary, choosing a budget expert and close confidant to spearhead tough fiscal fights with Congress over the U.S. deficit.

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CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez remained on his sickbed in Cuba on Thursday while supporters planned to rally in his honor on the day he should have been sworn in for a new six-year term in the South American OPEC nation.

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NEW DELHI - One of the five men charged with the gang rape and murder of an Indian student said police tortured him in custody and he and at least three of his co-defendants say they are innocent, lawyers said on Thursday.

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CAIRO/BEIRUT - The U.N. peace envoy for Syria said on Wednesday that Bashar al-Assad could have no place in a transitional government to end civil war, the closest he has come to calling directly for the embattled president to quit.

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CAIRO/GAZA - An Egyptian official said the leaders of the Palestinian Hamas and Fatah factions had agreed at talks in Cairo on Wednesday to implement a long-delayed reconciliation pact, although it was unclear if the deal would extend beyond holding more talks.

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GUANGZHOU, China - A weekly Chinese newspaper at the centre of anti-censorship protests appeared on newsstands on Thursday as a newsroom strike ended amid fresh calls for the Communist Party leadership to loosen its grip on the media.

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BEIJING - Former New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt failed to secure the release of a Korean-American held in North Korea during a controversial trip to the secretive state that ended on Thursday.

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SURAT, India - Turning a single Indian state with a long tradition of entrepreneurship and a solid political majority into an investor-friendly economic powerhouse is one thing.

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MOMBASA, Kenya - Ten people were killed on Thursday when armed raiders torched more than a dozen houses in Kenya's Tana River area, the Red Cross said, violence police say is linked to upcoming elections.

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KABUL - Afghan lawmakers said on Wednesday disaster and civil war would follow if Washington pushed ahead with a suggestion to withdraw all its troops from the country after 2014.

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PARIS/ISTANBUL - Three female Kurdish activists including a founding member of the PKK rebel group were shot dead in Paris overnight in execution-style killings condemned by Turkish politicians trying to broker a peace deal.

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WASHINGTON - Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday the White House is determined to act quickly to curb gun violence and will explore all avenues - including executive orders that would not require approval by Congress - to try to prevent incidents like last month's massacre at a Connecticut school.

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TOKYO - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will this month make his first overseas trip since winning office to Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand, aiming to strengthen ties with the growing Asian economies as relations with China stay tense.

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BELFAST - Northern Ireland's worst period of violence since a 1998 peace deal ended three decades of conflict has highlighted just how fragile that accord is and raised fears that the province cannot fully emerge from its bloody past.

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PARIS - Senior African Anglican leaders have lined up to denounce the Church of England's decision to allow celibate gay bishops, warning it would only widen the divisions within the worldwide Anglican Communion.

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BOSTON - With flu cases in this city up tenfold from last year, the mayor of Boston declared a public health emergency on Wednesday as authorities around the United States scrambled to cope with a rising number of patients.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130110/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-1400-gmt-jan-10