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Reuters World News Highlights 2215 GMT Feb 20

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

TOP STORIES

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AMRITSAR, India - David Cameron on Wednesday became the first serving British prime minister to voice regret about one of the bloodiest episodes in colonial India, a massacre of unarmed civilians in the city of Amritsar in 1919.

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TUNIS - Tunisian leaders began the search for a new prime minister on Wednesday to try to lead the North African nation out of its gravest political crisis since an uprising that inspired a wave of Arab revolts two years ago.

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PRETORIA - A witness heard "non-stop shouting" in the home of South African athletics star Oscar Pistorius shortly before his girlfriend was shot dead, the detective leading the murder investigation said on Wednesday.

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ROME - Regardless of who wins next weekend's parliamentary election, Italy's long economic decline is likely to continue because the next government won't be strong enough to pursue the tough reforms needed to make its economy competitive again.

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YAOUNDE - French special forces have arrived in northern Cameroon to help locate a French family who were kidnapped on Tuesday and moved to Nigeria, a local governor said on Wednesday.

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WASHINGTON - U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta formally notified Congress on Wednesday that the Pentagon plans to put civilian defense employees on unpaid leave this year if $46 billion in across-the-board budget cuts take effect on March 1.

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama turned to local television stations across the United States on Wednesday to increase public pressure on congressional Republicans to avert $85 billion in budget cuts set to begin in nine days.

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WASHINGTON - One-time Democratic Party rising star Jesse Jackson Jr., weeping and repentant as his famous father looked on, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to misusing about $750,000 in campaign funds on luxuries such as fur capes and a Rolex watch.

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WASHINGTON - The White House said on Wednesday it will step up diplomatic pressure and study whether tougher laws are needed to stop a wave of trade secret theft from China and other countries in a strategy that offered few new ideas for dealing with the threat.

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HAVANA - A U.S. congressional delegation left Cuba on Wednesday after meetings with President Raul Castro and other top officials, but no sign the countries had resolved their latest dispute: the fate of imprisoned U.S. contractor Alan Gross.

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NEW DELHI - Boeing Co has found a way to fix battery problems on its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets that involves increasing the space between the lithium ion battery cells, a source familiar with the U.S. company's plans told Reuters.

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WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday said Michigan cannot retry a defendant whose arson case had been thrown out by a trial judge who mistakenly required state prosecutors to prove more than they needed.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130220/reuters-world-news-highlights-2215-gmt-feb-20