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(All times GMT/ET)


Venezuela's Hugo Chavez dead from cancer

WASHINGTON - President Hugo Chavez dies after a two-year battle with cancer, ending 14 years of tumultuous, divisive rule that won him passionate support from the poor but the hatred of business leaders and wealthier Venezuelans. (VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/ (UPDATE 12, TV, PIX), expect by 0230 GMT/2130 ET, by Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis, 1,300 words)

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/SCENE (PIX, TV), moved, by Girish Gupta and Patricia Velez, 531 words

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/OBITUARY (PIX), moved, by Daniel Wallis, 1,688 words

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/FACTS (FACTBOX), moved, by Andrew Cawthorne and Daniel Wallis, 698 words


US, China agree UN sanctions draft; N.Korea renews threats

UNITED NATIONS - United States and China reach a deal that "significantly expands" U.N. sanctions on North Korea for its third nuclear test, eliciting renewed threat by Pyongyang to scrap armistice that ended 1950-53 Korean War. (KOREA-NORTH/UN (UPDATE 8, TV), moved, by Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols, 1,091 words)

- KOREA-NORTH/LUXURY (UPDATE 1), moved, by Louis Charbonneau, 678 words

U.S. more confident arms flow to Syria moderates

DOHA - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Washington is increasingly confident that weapons being sent to Syrian opposition by other countries go to moderate forces. (SYRIA-CRISIS/KERRY (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved, by Arshad Mohammed and Regan Doherty, 748 words)

Kenyans wait to know winner after tight presidential vote

NAIROBI - Kenyan authorities hope to deliver the final outcome of a presidential vote, after partial results show a lead for a politician wanted in the Hague over tribal violence at the last election five years ago. (KENYA/ELECTIONS, moved, by George Obulutsa and James Macharia, 1,012 words)


Japan's 'Long War' to shut down Fukushima

TOKYO - Just months after Quince was deployed to inspect Japan's tsunami-devastated Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, $6 million robot got trapped in its dark and winding pathways. Seventeen months later, the high-tech soldier is still missing in action -- a symbol of the daunting decommissioning project that will take decades, require huge injections of human and financial capital and rely on yet-to-be developed technologies. (JAPAN-FUKUSHIMA/(INSIGHT, PIX, GRAPHICS), moved, by Mari Saito, Kiyoshi Takenaka and James Topham, 2,165 words)

More bark than bite as Beijing aims at housing speculation

BEIJING - China's plans to curb property speculation are likely to be more bark than bite, and markets over-react because of uncertainty over how local governments will implement measures including 20 percent capital gains tax on house sales. (CHINA-PROPERTY/ (PIX), moved, by Langi Chiang and Jason Subler, 903 words)


U.S. Congress moving swiftly to avoid government shutdown

WASHINGTON - U.S. Congress moves rapidly to pass legislation funding federal government through Sept. 30, as Senate leaders express eagerness to avoid any threat of agency shutdowns when money runs out March 27. (USA-FISCAL/SPENDING, moved, by Richard Cowan and David Lawder, 638 words)

- USA-FISCAL/STUDENTAID, moved, by Elvina Nawaguna, 635 words

U.S. Senate intelligence panel OKs Brennan CIA nomination

WASHINGTON - Senate Intelligence Committee votes overwhelmingly to approve John Brennan as President Obama's new CIA director, after committee resolves dispute with White House over access to classified legal opinions on targeted killings of U.S. citizens overseas. (OBAMA-NOMINATIONS/BRENNAN (UPDATE 1), moved, by Mark Hosenball and Patricia Zengerle, 768 words)


UN hopes to approve Congo force by end-March: Russian envoy

WASHINGTON - The U.N. Security Council hopes to approve a special force to combat rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo by the end of March, but some members have concerns that need to be addressed first, Russia's U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin says. (CONGO-DEMOCRATIC/UN, moved, by Michelle Nichols, 460 words)


Italy president mulls new technocrat government-sources

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 say. (ITALY-VOTE/ (UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved, by Steve Scherer and Roberto Landucci, 870 words)

Bolshoi Ballet dancer detained over acid attack

MOSCOW - Russian police detain one of Bolshoi Ballet's top dancers over acid attack that nearly blinded troupe's artistic director and exposed fierce backstage rivalries at famed theatre. (RUSSIA-BOLSHOI/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Timothy Heritage and Alissa de Carbonnel, 667 words)