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(All times GMT/ET)


N.Korea rejects U.N. sanctions, China calls for calm

SEOUL - North Korea formally rejected a U.N. Security Council resolution on Saturday that demands an end to its nuclear arms programme, as China called for calm, saying sanctions were not the "fundamental" way to resolve tensions on the Korean peninsula. (KOREA-NORTH/ (UPDATE 1, TV, PIX), moved, by Jack Kim Terril Yue Jones, 700 words)

- KOREA-NORTH/SANCTIONS (ANALYSIS), moved, by Louis Charbonneau, 1,137 words

Chavez protege seeks snap election as Venezuela mourns

CARACAS - Venezuela's new acting President Nicolas Maduro pushes for a quick election, hoping to benefit from an emotional outpouring at the death of his charismatic mentor, Hugo Chavez, and step into his shoes (VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/ (PIX, TV), moving shortly, by Simon Gardiner and Ana Isabel Martinez, 550 words)

- VENEZUELA-CHAVEZ/GRASSROOTS (PIX, TV), moved, by Terry Wade and Patricia Velez, 970 words

UN hopes to free peacekeepers from Syria rebels on Saturday

BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS - Unsafe conditions prevented the release of 21 U.N. peacekeepers held by Syrian rebels, but a new attempt to retrieve the men would be made on Saturday, the United Nations and a Syrian opposition group say (SYRIA-CRISIS/PEACEKEEPERS (UPDATE 3), moved, by Dominic Evans and Michelle Nichols, 835 words)

Kenyan PM Odinga will not concede presidential election

NAIROBI - Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga will not concede this week's election and will launch a legal challenge if rival Uhuru Kenyatta is officially declared president, an adviser said on Saturday. (KENYA-ELECTIONS/ODINGA (UPDATE 1, PIX, TV), moved, 200 words)


Suicide blast in Afghan capital during Hagel visit

KABUL - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a Defence Ministry gate in Kabul on Saturday during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, a coalition spokesman said, underscoring security challenges facing the country as NATO troops prepare to leave (AFGHANISTAN-BLAST/ (UPDATE 2, TV), moved, 440 words)

- PAKISTAN-USA/AFGHANISTAN, moved, by Phil Stewart and David Alexander, 875 words

- AFGHANISTAN-USA/HAGEL (UPDATE 1), moved, 722 words

China's Xi to visit Africa, US frets over Beijing influence

BEIJING - Incoming Chinese president Xi Jinping's first trip as head of state will take him to Africa, the government said on Saturday, as China seeks to cement a growing trade and energy relationship that has caused alarm bells to ring in Washington. (CHINA-PARLIAMENT/AFRICA), moved, 400 words)


U.S. tracked bin Laden son-in-law for years before arrest

WASHINGTON - U.S. investigators tracked Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, for about 10 years before he was detained in Jordan and brought by the FBI to New York City in the past few days, U.S. officials familiar with the investigation say. (USA-MILITANT/TRACKING (PIX, TV), moved, by Mark Hosenball, 800 words).

- USA-MILITANT/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moved, by Jonathan Allen, 700 words


Conclave to elect new pope to start March 12

VATICAN CITY - Roman Catholic cardinals will enter conclave to elect successor to Pope Benedict on March 12, Vatican says, with no clear favourite emerging so far to take charge of troubled Church. (POPE-SUCCESSION/START (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved, by Crispian Balmer, 707 words)

- POPE-SUCCESSION/CHALLENGES (SPECIAL REPORT, PIX, GRAPHIC, TV), moved, by Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor, 2,593 words


Colombia's ELN guerrillas free two Germans hostages

BOGOTA - Colombia's second-largest guerrilla group frees two German men that rebels held since November, International Committee of the Red Cross says. (COLOMBIA-REBELS/GERMANS (UPDATE 3, TV), moved, by Jack Kimball, 362 words)