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Reuters World News Highlights at 0930 GMT, Mar 07

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

March 7 (Reuters) - TOP STORIES

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CARACAS - Sobbing and shouting, a throng of Hugo Chavez's supporters paraded his coffin through the streets of Caracas on Wednesday in an emotional outpouring that could help his deputy win an election to keep his socialist revolution alive.

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WASHINGTON - Legislation easily passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday to avert another partisan budget battle and a possible government shutdown, and a dinner meeting between President Barack Obama and Senate Republicans offered signs of a thaw in relations.

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SEOUL - North Korea threatened on Thursday to exercise its right to stage preemptive nuclear attack against anyone who attacks as Pyongyang ratcheted up its rhetoric against "hostile" countries as the United Nations readied new sanctions against it.

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NAIROBI - Kenyan authorities said the outcome of a presidential election would not be compromised by the failure of electronic vote counting technology that has left the nation in the dark about the result three days after the poll.

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HONG KONG - China's naval and paramilitary ships are churning up the ocean around islands it disputes with Tokyo in what experts say is a strategy to overwhelm the numerically inferior Japanese forces that must sail out to detect and track the flotillas.

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ROME - Beppe Grillo stirs strong feelings. His supporters believe he can clean up Italian politics and give ordinary people more say in decision-making. His opponents see a dangerous populist who evokes memories of fascist dictator Benito Mussolini.

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FELDA SAHABAT, Malaysia - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday rejected the offer of a ceasefire made by a group of Philippine militants staking a claim to the Malaysian state of Sabah and demanded they surrender unconditionally.

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BEIRUT - The presidential campaign season in Iran this year started with a warning. During a visit to the holy city of Qom in mid-January, the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei told a packed crowd that both internal and external enemies may try to undermine the vote.

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WASHINGTON - Kentucky Republican Rand Paul took the floor of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday and spoke for nearly 13 hours in an attempt to block the confirmation of John Brennan as President Barack Obama's next CIA director in a protest of the administration's policy of using drones in targeted killings.

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OFER PRISON - In a sprawling Israeli prison, Palestinian activist Hassan Karajeh sat through a hurried court hearing in a language he didn't understand under the authority of a military occupation he and his people reject.

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VIENNA - The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations nuclear watchdog walked out of an agency meeting on Wednesday in protest when Iran's representative accused Washington's ally Israel of "genocide", diplomats said.

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BEIRUT - Syrian rebels have seized a convoy of U.N. peacekeepers near the Golan Heights and say they will hold them captive until President Bashar al-Assad's forces pull back from a rebel-held village which has seen heavy recent fighting.

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MOSCOW - A Bolshoi Ballet dancer accused of organising an attack that nearly blinded the Russian theatre's artistic director said in court on Thursday that he did not intend for the victim to be splashed with acid.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130307/reuters-world-news-highlights-at-0930-gmt-mar-07