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Reuters World News Highlights at 2100 GMT, Jan 23

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TOP STORIES

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JERUSALEM - Benjamin Netanyahu set about forging a new ruling coalition on Wednesday after Israeli voters fed up with state coddling of ultra-Orthodox Jews chastised him by propelling an upstart centrist party to prominence.

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LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron promised Britons a vote on quitting the European Union, rattling London's biggest allies and some investors by raising the prospect of uncertainty and upheaval.

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WASHINGTON - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday angrily defended her handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. mission in the Libyan city of Benghazi and denied any effort to mislead the American people.

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AMMAN - Jordanians voted in their first parliamentary election since the Arab uprisings on Wednesday without the participation of the main Islamist party, which is demanding an end to official corruption and a louder voice for the urban poor.

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LONDON - The world economy should perform slightly better this year because recovering growth in Asia will gradually overpower the political and economic malaise in the West, according to Reuters polls.

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ROME/BEIRUT - Syria's 22-month civil war has ravaged vital infrastructure and halved the output of staple crops, the United Nations said on Wednesday, underscoring the lasting damage from which the country will take years to recover.

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed a Republican plan to allow the federal government to keep borrowing money through mid-May, clearing it for fast enactment after the top Senate Democrat and the White House endorsed it.

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WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is likely to rely mostly on existing rules and on flexing executive power to execute its second-term environmental agenda, sidestepping Congress as it sets about radically reducing greenhouse gases generated by major polluters.

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TOKYO/WASHINGTON - Japanese regulators have joined their U.S. counterparts in all but ruling out overcharged batteries as the cause of recent fires on the Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner, which has now been grounded for a week worldwide.

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BRUSSELS/DUBAI - Iran is stalling on fixing a date and location for a new round of talks on its nuclear programme, the European Union's foreign policy chief said on Wednesday, but there is still hope that talks between Tehran and six world powers can begin soon.

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BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber disguised as a mourner killed at least 22 people inside an Iraqi Shi'ite Muslim mosque on Wednesday when he set off his explosives in the middle of a crowded funeral.

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DUBAI - Bahrain on Wednesday asked pro-democracy opposition parties to nominate delegates for talks to try to break nearly two years of political deadlock in the Gulf Arab state.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130123/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-2100-gmt-jan-23