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North Korea threatens nuclear strike, UN expands sanctions

SEOUL/UNITED NATIONS - North Korea threatens United States with pre-emptive nuclear strike, raising level of rhetoric just before U.N. Security Council approves new sanctions against reclusive country. (KOREA-NORTH/ (WRAPUP 3, PIX, TV), moved, by Jack Kim and Louis Charbonneau, 1,102 words)

Obama lunches with budget hawk Ryan, deal still far off

WASHINGTON - President Obama expands his fledgling search for Republican allies on possible deficit-reduction bargain when he hosts lunch for Paul Ryan, one of House of Representatives' leading fiscal conservatives. (USA-FISCAL/ (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, by Richard Cowan and Susan Heavey, 885 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FISCAL/CUTS, moved, by David Lawder, 394 words

Venezuela's Chavez to be embalmed for public view

CARACAS - Venezuela's late leader Hugo Chavez will be embalmed and put on display "for eternity" at military museum after state funeral and extended period of lying in state where huge crowds wait to pay their respects. (VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV, GRAPHIC), moving shortly, by Patricia Velez and Terry Wade, 1,033 words)

Kenyatta lead shrinks in Kenya vote count, raising chance of run-off

NAIROBI - Kenyan presidential candidate Uhuru Kenyatta's share of vote slips below 50 percent for first time in slow counting of results, raising prospect that country could be headed for divisive second round run-off. (KENYA-ELECTIONS/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moved, by James Macharia and George Obulutsa, 1,067 words)

Bin Laden son-in-law detained in Jordan, brought to New York

WASHINGTON - U.S. prosecutors unseal indictment against son-in-law of Osama bin Laden that charges him with conspiracy to kill Americans, after U.S. government sources say he is arrested overseas and brought to New York. (USA-MILITANT/(UPDATE 2), moved, by Mark Hosenball, 300 words)


US Senate panel votes to crack down on underground gun sales

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee backs President Obama's call to crack down on underground trafficking of firearms, marking first votes in Congress on gun-control since school massacre last year prompted calls for action. (USA-GUNS/SENATE (UPDATE 3), expect by 2400 GMT/7 PM ET, by Thomas Ferraro, 658 words)

US Senator Levin says will not seek re-election in 2014

WASHINGTON - Long-serving Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, Democratic leader on national security issues who strenuously opposed Iraq War and investigated U.S. detainee abuse while fighting corporate fraud, announces he will not seek re-election in 2014. (CONGRESS/LEVIN (UPDATE 1), expect by 2400 GMT/7 PM ET, by Tom Ferraro, 300 words)

U.S. domestic abuse law expanded to protect gays, immigrants

WASHINGTON - President Obama reauthorizes Violence Against Women Act, landmark 1994 law designed to curb domestic abuse, which is now expanded to cover gays, immigrants, Native Americans and sex-trafficking victims. (OBAMA-WOMEN/VIOLENCE (UPDATE 1), moved, by Deborah Zabarenko, 588 words)


Syria rebels want troop pullback before freeing UN men

BEIRUT - Rebels holding 21 U.N. peacekeepers near Golan Heights in southern Syria say government forces must stop their bombardment and leave area before their "guests" can be freed, rebel activist say. (SYRIA-CRISIS/REBELS (UPDATE 3, TV, PIX), moved, by Dominic Evans and Oliver Holmes, 1,015 words)

Egypt cancels parliamentary vote dates after court ruling

CAIRO - Egypt's election committee scraps timetable under which voting for lower house of parliament should have begun next month, state media report, following court ruling that throws entire polling process into confusion. (EGYPT-ELECTIONS/DATES (UPDATE 2), moved, by Yasmine Saleh, 433 words)

+ See also:

- EGYPT-VIOLENCE/PORTSAID (UPDATE 1), moved, by Yusri Mohamed, 431 words

- EGYPT-KIDNAPPING/ (UPDATE 4), moved, by Alexander Dziadosz and Sylvia Westall, 470 words

Saudi accuses activists of lying to stir protests

BURAIDAH, Saudi Arabia - Saudi Arabia accuses online activists of using social media to stir up protests, banned in kingdom, by distributing "false information" about number of people detained by security apparatus. (SAUDI-PROTESTS/, moved, by Angus McDowall, 527 words)


Suu Kyi's inexperienced party in search of policies for Myanmar

YANGON - Aung San Suu Kyi's inexperienced party begins its first congress aiming to push forward positions that will become increasingly important in run-up to a 2015 election in Myanmar that could sweep it into government. (MYANMAR-PARTY/ (PIX, TV), moved, by Aung Hla Tun, 694 words)


UN threatens to stop working with Congo army units accused of rape

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. peacekeeping mission in Democratic Republic of Congo threatens to stop supporting two Congolese army battalions unless soldiers accused of raping scores of women in eastern town are prosecuted, senior U.N. official says. (CONGO-DEMOCRATIC/RAPES-UN, moved, by Michelle Nichols, 414 words)


Sex abuse: the scandal the Catholic Church cannot shake

VATICAN CITY - Colm O'Gorman, now 46, was only 14 when Father Sean Fortune began abusing him sexually. His story is only one of many human tragedies in one of greater scandals ever to hit Catholic Church, damaging curtailed papacy of Pope Benedict and posing huge challenge to whomever succeeds him. (POPE-SUCCESSION/ABUSE, moved, by Naomi O'Leary, 1,320 words)


Canada's Arctic glaciers headed for unstoppable thaw-study

OSLO - Canadian glaciers that are world's third biggest store of ice after Antarctica and Greenland seem headed for irreversible melt that will push up sea levels, scientists say. (CLIMATE-CANADA/, moved, by Environment Correspondent Alister Doyle, 483 words)


US CDC warns health officials to be alert for deadly new virus

CHICAGO - U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn state and local health officials about potential infections from deadly virus previously unseen in humans that has now sickened 14 people and killed eight. (VIRUS-WARNING/, moving shortly, 383 words)