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Reuters World News Highlights at 2115 GMT, Feb 04

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Feb 4 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES

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BEIRUT - Syrian opposition leader Moaz Alkhatib urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government on Monday to start talks for its departure from power and save the country from greater ruin after almost two years of bloodshed.

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KIDAL - Tuareg rebels in northern Mali said on Monday they had captured two senior Islamist insurgents fleeing French air strikes toward the Algerian border, as France pressed ahead with its bombing campaign against al Qaeda's Saharan desert camps.

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LEICESTER, England - A skeleton with a cleaved skull and a curved spine dug up from under a car park is that of Richard III, archaeologists said on Monday, solving a 500-year-old mystery about the final resting place of the last English king to die in battle.

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THE HAGUE - Hundreds of soccer matches have been fixed in a global betting scam run from Singapore, police said on Monday, in a blow to the image of the world's most popular sport and a multi-billion dollar industry.

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MINNEAPOLIS - President Barack Obama on Monday took his gun control campaign to Minneapolis, making a visible push for reform ahead of his State of the Union address in a state with an active hunting culture where efforts have helped curtail violence.

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WASHINGTON - The departing chief of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Lisa P. Jackson, says she cringes whenever she is asked if President Barack Obama is truly serious about confronting climate change.

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BERLIN - Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Monday he saw U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden's offer this weekend of bilateral dialogue between their two countries as a sign of a change in approach to Tehran by Washington.

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VIENNA - Iran could be able to make thousands of next-generation uranium enrichment machines, according to a former chief U.N. inspector, adding credibility to Tehran's claims of technical advances in its disputed nuclear programme.

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BAGHDAD - A suicide bomber attacked a government-backed militia in Iraq on Monday, killing at least 22 people in an apparent attempt by Sunni insurgents to provoke unrest against Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

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CAIRO - Egypt's main opposition alliance has got itself into a muddle by appearing to endorse a call for the overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi, then backing away.

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YANGON - Myanmar's government held talks with top commanders of the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) rebel group in China on Monday to try to rescue a faltering peace process and end one of the country's bloodiest ethnic conflicts.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130204/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-2115-gmt-feb-04