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Reuters World News Highlights 2200 GMT Feb 18

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

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CARACAS - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez made a surprise return from Cuba on Monday, more than two months after surgery for cancer that has jeopardized his 14-year rule of the South American OPEC nation.

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GENEVA - United Nations investigators said on Monday that Syrian leaders they had identified as suspected war criminals should face the International Criminal Court (ICC).

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KANO, Nigeria - An Islamist group linked to al Qaeda claimed responsibility on Monday for kidnapping seven foreigners in an attack in a remote Nigerian town at the weekend, when raiders used explosives to blast their way into a housing compound in a hail of gunfire.

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YEREVAN - Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan easily won a new five-year term on Monday, an exit poll showed, in an election overshadowed by a lack of serious opposition and an attempt to kill a minor candidate.

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JOHANNESBURG - At least 13 workers were wounded by rubber bullets or machetes in fighting at a mine in South Africa on Monday in the first major mine violence this year after deadly strife in the sector in 2012.

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QUITO - Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa vowed on Monday to press ahead with laws to control the media and redistribute land to the poor as he looks to deepen his socialist revolution after a resounding re-election victory.

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BAGHDAD - Al Qaeda's Iraqi wing claimed responsibility on Monday for car bomb blasts that killed 28 people in Shi'ite Muslim districts in Baghdad, saying it was taking revenge for perceived state repression of Sunni Muslims.

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MUMBAI - British Prime Minister David Cameron flew into India on Monday promising to try to revive Indian interest in the Eurofighter even though New Delhi has chosen a French-made rival and as a graft scandal is engulfing an Anglo-Italian helicopter deal.

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MOSCOW - A meteor that exploded over Russia's Ural mountains and sent fireballs blazing to earth has set off a rush to find fragments of the space rock which hunters hope could fetch thousands of dollars a piece.

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CANBERRA - A suspected Mossad agent who died in an Israeli jail in 2010 was arrested by his spymasters who believed he may have told Australian intelligence about his work with the Israeli spy agency, Australian media reported on Monday.

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NICOSIA - The Cypriot politician most in favour of an international bailout was in pole position to win next Sunday's run-off presidential vote as he and his communist-backed rival launched a week of bargaining to woo voters suspicious of a rescue package to stave off bankruptcy.

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MOSCOW - Financial leaders from the world's 20 biggest economies may have promised not to devalue their currencies to help exports, but the pledge will do little to keep exchange rates stable.

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LITTLE ROCK - Troubled country music star Mindy McCready, whose platinum singing career was shadowed by substance abuse and suicide attempts, was found dead on Sunday of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, an Arkansas sheriff said. She was 37.

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SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS - Kim Kwang-jin says that when he worked for North Korea's state insurance company in Singapore in 2003, he stuffed $20 million into two suitcases one day and sent it to Pyongyang as a special gift for then leader Kim Jong-il.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130218/reuters-world-news-highlights-2200-gmt-feb-18