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Reuters World News Highlights at 1000 GMT, Feb 19

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Feb 19 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES

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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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LONDON - Nestle , the world's biggest food company, has removed beef pasta meals from sale in Italy and Spain after finding traces of horse DNA.

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BRUSSELS - European Central Bank President Mario Draghi sought to take the heat out of a debate about currency wars on Monday but said the ECB would still have to assess the economic impact of the euro's strength.

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BEIJING/SAN FRANCISCO - A secretive Chinese military unit is believed to be behind a series of hacking attacks, a U.S. computer security company said, prompting a strong denial by China and accusations that it was in fact the victim of U.S. hacking.

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LIKASI - T rucks of workers and building materials hurtle through the mining town of Likasi at the heart of Congo's copper producing south, evidence of the billions being poured into the region after years of war and underinvestment.

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NEW DELHI - Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony said on Tuesday it was "too early" to consider the possibility of foul play in a planned $10 billion deal with France's Dassault Aviation for Rafale war planes.

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PRETORIA - Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius fired four shots at his girlfriend Reeva Steemkamp, hitting her three times, a prosecutor told a Pretoria court on Tuesday.

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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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CAIRO - Two years after a pro-democracy uprising, Egypt resembles a rickety bus rolling towards a cliff, its passengers too busy feuding over blame to wrench the steering wheel to safety.

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ISTANBUL - Police launched raids across Turkey early on Tuesday targeting a militant leftist group behind a suicide bomb attack on the U.S. embassy, ordering the arrest of nearly 200 people, state-run Anatolian news agency reported.

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TOKYO - Five years after staring into a political and personal abyss, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is out to prove that the man who threw in the towel after barely a year in office has what it takes to survive as a long-term leader.

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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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YEREVAN - Armenia's presidential election was an improvement on recent elections in the former Soviet republic but was not genuinely competitive, international observers said on Tuesday.

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MOSCOW/VIENNA - What can man do to prevent Earth being hit by meteorites and asteroids? (Reporting By Jon Hemming)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130219/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-1000-gmt-feb-19