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(All times GMT/ET)


UN slaps sanctions on North Korea, Kim visits frontline

UNITED NATIONS/SEOUL - The United Nations imposes new sanctions on North Korea aimed at curtailing its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and China, the isolated regime's only major ally, says it wants the measures fully implemented. (KOREA-NORTH/ (WRAPUP 1, PIX), moved, by Louis Charbonneau and Jack Kim, 840 words)

- USA-KOREA/THREAT (ANALYSIS), moved, by Paul Eckert, 730 words

Obama lunches with budget hawk Ryan, deal still far off

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Obama expands his fledgling search for Republican allies on a possible deficit-reduction bargain when he hosts a lunch for Paul Ryan, one of the House of Representatives' leading fiscal conservatives. (USA-FISCAL/ (UPDATE 4, PIX), moved, by Richard Cowan and Susan Heavey, 925 words)

- USA-FISCAL/CUTS (UPDATE 1), moved, by David Lawder, 465 words

- USA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Lucia Mutikani, 780 words

Leaders from Cuba to Iran attending Chavez's funeral

CARACAS - At least two dozen heads of state are to attend Hugo Chavez's funeral during an outpouring of grief for the charismatic but divisive Venezuelan leader who changed the face of politics in South America. (VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/ (PIX, TV), moved, by Daniel Wallis and Andrew Cawthorne, 900 words)

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/CUBA (PIX, TV), moved, by Jeff Franks, 650 words

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/OPPONENTS (PIX), moved, by Simon Gardner and Girish Gupta, 750 words

Kenyan presidential election heads to nail-biting finish

NAIROBI - Kenya's presidential race tightens as early pace-setter Uhuru Kenyatta's lead shrinks over his main rival, Prime Minister Raila Odinga, raising the prospect of a run-off. (KENYA-ELECTION/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by James Macharia and George Obulutsa, 640 words)


China trade seen underlining economic rebound intact

BEIJING - Chinese trade figures are set to lead a flurry of indicators underlining that the world's second-largest economy gathered steam in February, adding some momentum to a recovery from its slowest full-year of growth since 1999. (CHINA-ECONOMY/TRADE, moved, by Nick Edwards and Xiaoyi Shao, 667 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, 695 words)

Two years after Fukushima, Japan's nuclear lobby bounces back

TOKYO - The crowds of anti-nuclear protesters have dwindled since Japan's "Summer of Discontent" last year, and a new government is keen to revive the country's atomic energy industry, but Morishi Izumita says he is not about to throw in the towel. (JAPAN-NUCLEAR/DISCONTENT (PIX), moved, by Mari Saito and Linda Sieg, 830 words)

Thailand struggles to curb high teen pregnancy

BANGKOK - When Mallika told her parents she was pregnant at 17, they pulled her out of school and ordered her to marry the baby's father. But the marriage didn't happen and the one-time aspiring singer now cares for her baby girl alone. (THAILAND-PREGNANCY/ (PIX), moved, by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, 893 words)


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

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK - U.S. prosecutors unseal an indictment against a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden that charges him with conspiracy to kill Americans, after U.S. government sources say he was arrested overseas and brought to New York. (USA-MILITANT/ (UPDATE 3), moved, by Mark Hosenball and Daniel Trotta, 800 words)

US Senate panel votes to crack down on underground gun sales

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee backs President Obama's call to crack down on underground trafficking of firearms, marking the first votes in Congress on gun-control since a school massacre last year prompted calls for action. (USA-GUNS/SENATE (UPDATE 3), moved, by Thomas Ferraro, 700 words)

U.S. Senate confirms John Brennan as new CIA director

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate confirms John Brennan as the Obama administration's next Central Intelligence Agency director, overcoming concerns expressed by Republicans and some Democrats about the administration's use of lethal drone strikes. (USA-CONGRESS/CIA (UPDATE 2), moved, by Mark Hosenball and Rachelle Younglai, 500 words)


Syria rebels want troop pullback before freeing UN men

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

Egypt cancels parliamentary vote dates after court ruling

CAIRO - Egypt's election committee scraps a timetable under which voting for the lower house of parliament should have begun next month, state media report, following a court ruling that throws the entire polling process into confusion. (EGYPT-ELECTIONS/DATES (UPDATE 2), moved, by Yasmine Saleh, 430 words)

- EGYPT-VIOLENCE/PORTSAID (UPDATE 1), moved, by Yusri Mohamed, 430 words

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


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

UNITED NATIONS - The 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 an eastern town are prosecuted, a senior U.N. official says. (CONGO-DEMOCRATIC/RAPES-UN, moved, by Michelle Nichols, 415 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 (UPDATE 1), moved, by Naomi O'Leary, 1,320 words)