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Reuters World News Highlights at 2145 GMT, Jan 29

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Jan 29 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES

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DOUENTZA/GAO, Mali - French-backed Malian troops searched house-to-house in Gao and Timbuktu on Tuesday uncovering arms and explosives abandoned by Islamist fighters, and France said it would look to hand over longer-term security operations in Mali to an African force.

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BEIRUT - At least 65 people were found shot dead with their hands bound in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Tuesday in a "new massacre" in the near two-year revolt against President Bashar al-Assad, activists said.

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CAIRO, Egypt - Egypt's army chief said political unrest was pushing the state to the brink of collapse - a stark warning from the institution that ran the country until last year as Cairo's first freely elected leader struggles to curb bloody street violence.

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LAS VEGAS - President Barack Obama pushed Congress on Tuesday to overhaul the U.S. immigration system but disagreement with Republicans over securing the border with Mexico has already begun to sour bipartisan efforts.

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SANAA - Hundreds of al Qaeda-linked militants arrived in southern Yemen on Tuesday to reinforce Islamist fighters facing a major government offensive following the breakdown of talks to free three Western hostages, an official and residents said.

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ISTANBUL - Kurdish militants will halt hostilities with Turkey in February according to the timetable of a fledgling peace process aimed at ending 28 years of insurgency, a report in a mainstream newspaper said on Tuesday.

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WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator John Kerry received enough Senate votes on Tuesday to be confirmed as President Barack Obama's new secretary of state, succeeding Hillary Clinton.

WASHINGTON - The National Rifle Association will argue that greater restrictions are not the answer to gun violence at a Senate hearing on Wednesday, which is likely to stoke skepticism that legislation to tighten controls will advance very far this year.

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SANTA MARIA, Brazil - Cities across Brazil are beginning to crack down on nightclubs to ensure they comply with fire regulations following a weekend blaze that killed 234 people at a club in the southern university town of Santa Maria.

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KYZYL TU, Kazakhstan - A passenger plane crashed in thick fog near Kazakhstan's commercial capital Almaty on Tuesday and broke into pieces when it hit the ground, killing all 21 people on board.

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AUSTIN - A Texas judge postponed until April the execution of Kimberly McCarthy, who was scheduled to die by lethal injection later on Tuesday, to give lawyers more time to present evidence of racial discrimination in selection of the jury which convicted her.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130129/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-2145-gmt-jan-29