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Reuters World News Highlights 1800 GMT March 5

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

TOP STORIES

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NAIROBI - Kenyan presidential hopeful Uhuru Kenyatta opened an early lead as ballots were counted on Tuesday in an election that brought out millions of voters despite pockets of violence that killed at least 15 people.

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SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS - North Korea threatened on Tuesday to scrap an armistice that ended the 1950-53 civil war and sever a military "hotline" with the United States if South Korea and Washington pressed on with two-month-long war games.

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CARACAS - Venezuela's political and military leaders gathered at the presidential palace and supporters wept on Tuesday after the government said President Hugo Chavez had suffered a serious setback in his battle against cancer.

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AMMAN - Syrian warplanes bombarded the city of Raqqa on Tuesday, a day after it was captured by rebel fighters, opposition campaigners and a resident said.

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ROME - President Giorgio Napolitano is considering appointing a new technocrat government led by a non-politician as one way out of Italy's political stalemate, Italian officials said on Tuesday.

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MOSCOW - A conference held under the auspices of the Russian Orthodox Church is perhaps the last place you might expect to hear a good word said about Josef Stalin.

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PARIS - Two hard-left trade unions led protests across France on Tuesday against labour law reforms backed by mainstream unions to give firms more flexibility to weather economic downturns.

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CHISINAU - Moldova's pro-Europe government fell amid anger and bickering on Tuesday when it lost a confidence vote that could affect the former Soviet republic's drive for a place in the European mainstream.

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KABUL - An Afghan court gave jail terms on Tuesday to 20 of 22 men convicted in a multi-million dollar bank fraud case seen as a test of Afghanistan's commitment to fighting corruption.

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BEIJING - China's new rulers will focus on consumer-led growth to narrow the gap between rich and poor while taking steps to curb pollution and graft, the government said on Tuesday, tackling the main triggers for social unrest in the giant nation

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130305/reuters-world-news-highlights-1800-gmt-march-5