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Reuters World News Highlights at 2115 GMT, Jan 17

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ALGIERS - Thirty hostages and at least 11 Islamist militants were killed on Thursday when Algerian forces stormed a desert gas plant in a bid to free many dozens of Western and local captives, an Algerian security source said.

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BEIRUT - More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country.

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TOKYO/SEATTLE - Airlines scrambled on Thursday to rearrange flights as regulators around the world joined the United States in grounding Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner passenger jets while battery-related problems are investigated.

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VIENNA/DUBAI - The U.N. nuclear watchdog and Iran appear to have failed again in talks this week to finalise a deal to unblock an investigation into suspected atom bomb research in the Islamic state, a diplomatic source said on Thursday.

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NEW DELHI - Pakistan urged India on Thursday to tone down the "Pakistan bashing" over a spate of military clashes in Kashmir between the nuclear-armed neighbours, and again offered foreign minister-level talks to try to cool tensions.

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ISLAMABAD - A Muslim cleric with a history of ties to the military who has been calling for the Pakistani government to resign reached a deal with the administration on Thursday that will give him a say in the electoral process ahead of elections.

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DIYARBAKIR, Turkey - Tens of thousands of Kurds poured onto the streets of the Turkish city of Diyarbakir on Thursday for the funeral of three Kurdish activists killed in Paris, chanting slogans as coffins passed through the crowds.

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WASHINGTON - Nations around the globe need to press forward with fiscal and reform promises, especially in the United States and Europe, to reduce the uncertainties shackling growth, the head of the IMF said on Thursday, warning that the global economy barely dodged a bullet last year.

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TACOMA - A U.S. soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan deferred making a plea to capital murder charges at a U.S. military court on Thursday, and the judge said he would order the soldier's mental health evaluated.

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WILLIAMSBURG - Republicans in the House of Representatives may press for only a short-term extension of U.S. borrowing authority to keep up pressure for significant spending cuts, House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan said on Thursday.

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Pauline Phillips, the "Dear Abby" newspaper columnist who dished out advice to millions of confused, troubled and lovesick readers in America and around the world, has died at the age of 94.

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LONDON - Lance Armstrong was stripped of his 2000 Olympic Games cycling time trial bronze medal by the International Olympic Committee on Thursday, continuing the once dominant American rider's spectacular fall from grace after a doping storm.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130117/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-2115-gmt-jan-17