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China eyes 2013 economic growth of 7.5 pct -Premier Wen

BEIJING - China said it will boost fiscal spending in 2013 in a bid to deliver economic growth of 7.5 percent for the year, outgoing Premier Wen Jiabao says in remarks prepared for the opening of the country's annual parliament meetings. (CHINA-PARLIAMENT/(UPDATE 1), moved, 438 words)

- CHINA-PARLIAMENT/DEFENCE (UPDATE 2, TV, PIX), moved, by John Ruwitch and Michael Martina, 492 words

Malaysian troops attack armed Philippine group in Sabah

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian troops backed by fighter jets attack an armed Filipino group, trying to end a standoff on Borneo island after violence that killed at least 27 people and sparked fears of broader insecurity in the resource-rich area. (MALAYSIA-PHILIPPINES/ATTACK (UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved, by Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah, 590 words

- MALAYSIA-SABAH/ (PIX, TV), moved, by Stuart Grudgings and Niluksi Koswanage, 1,078 words

Kerry sees "finite" time for Iran nuclear talks to bear fruit

RIYADH - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says there is "finite" time for talks between Iran and world powers on its disputed nuclear programme to bear fruit, but gives no hint how long Washington may be willing to negotiate. (IRAN-NUCLEAR/USA (UPDATE 4), by Arshad Mohammed and Angus McDowall, 921 words)

- ISRAEL-IRAN/NETANYAHU (UPDATE 2), moved, by Matt Spetalnick and Paul Eckert, 946 words

- IRAN-NUCLEAR/IAEA (UPDATE 4, TV), moved, by Fredrik Dahl, 899 words

Budget crisis calms as Republicans seek to avoid shutdown

WASHINGTON - The U.S. fiscal crisis eases as President Barack Obama calls opposition lawmakers anew to find a way to stop $85 billion in damaging budget cuts and congressional Republicans announce a plan to prevent a government shutdown. (USA-FISCAL/ (WRAPUP 2), moved, by David Lawder and Richard Cowan, 1,000 words)

- USA-FISCAL/OBAMA-SENATORS, moved, by Richard Cowan and Steve Holland, 600 words

- USA-FISCAL/AIRPORTS (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, by Deborah Charles, 617 words


Bersani ultimatum may bring new Italy election closer

ROME - Italy could be inching closer towards another election within months after centre-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani issues an ultimatum to anti-establishment comic Beppe Grillo to support a new government or return to the polls. (ITALY-VOTE/ (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved, by Steve Scherer, 964 words)

Euro zone to bail out Cyprus - no details on how

BRUSSELS - Euro zone finance ministers pledges to agree bailout for Cyprus by end of March, but details of how rescue will be financed are yet to be sorted out. (EUROGROUP-CYPRUS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Annika Breidthardt and Jan Strupczewski, 962 words)


Kenyatta takes early lead as Kenya counts votes

NAIROBI - Uhuru Kenyatta opens an early edge as Kenya continues the count in a presidential election that brought out millions of voters despite pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people. (KENYA-ELECTIONS/ (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), moved, by Duncan Miriri and George Obulutsa, 1,000 words)

France says al Qaeda chief Abou Zeid 'probably' killed

PARIS/BAMAKO - France gives the first indication it believes reports that Abdelhamid Abou Zeid, one of al Qaeda's more feared commanders in Africa, is killed in Mali, an event that would deal a serious blow to the militants' leadership. (MALI-REBELS/FRANCE (UPDATE 5), moved, by Leigh Thomas and Adama Diarra, 780 words)


Syrian rebels report capture of provincial capital

AMMAN - Syrian opposition fighters capture the northeastern city of Raqqa and crowds topple a statue of President Bashar al-Assad's father, opposition sources and a resident say. (SYRIA-CRISIS/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, 1,100 words)

- SYRIA-CRISIS/UN, moved, by Michelle Nichols, 485 words

Russia willing to consider making it easier for Libya to buy arms

UNITED NATIONS - Russia is prepared to consider ways of making it easier for Libya's government to buy arms, but voices serious concern about lifting embargo on North African state already awash with weapons, Russia's U.N. ambassador says. (LIBYA-ARMS/UN, moved, by Michelle Nichols, 465 words)


BP spill report ignored phone call on key test -lawyer

NEW ORLEANS - BP's own investigation of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico spill ignored a phone call between BP supervisors about a critical pressure test that was misinterpreted with deadly consequences, a lawyer for rig owner Transocean Ltd contends in aggressive questioning. (BP-SPILL/TRIAL (UPDATE 1), moved, by Stephanie Grace, 558 words)

Obama rounds out Cabinet with EPA, Energy picks

WASHINGTON - President Obama announces his nominees to lead a new U.S. push to tackle climate change, choosing an air quality expert to run the Environmental Protection Agency and a nuclear physicist to head the Department of Energy. (OBAMA-CABINET/EPA-ENERGY (UPDATE 5, PIX), moved, by Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton, 1,059 words)

- USA-EPA/MCCARTHY (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, by Patrick Rucker, 803 words