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TOP STORIES

Motorcycle gunmen kill 43 in bus attack in Pakistan's Karachi

KARACHI - Gunmen on motorcycles open fire on a bus in Pakistan's southern city of Karachi, killing at least 43 people, police say, in the latest attack directed against religious minorities this year. (PAKISTAN-ATTACK/ (UPDATE 4, PICTURE), moved, by Syed Raza Hassan, 340 words)

Hundreds search for missing US helicopter after second Nepal quake kills scores

CHARIKOT, Nepal - Hundreds of Nepali troops search for a missing U.S. Marines helicopter with eight people on board, a day after the second powerful earthquake in less than three weeks killed scores and sent panicked residents into the street.(QUAKE-NEPAL/ (WRAPUP 2, PICTURE, TV), moving shortly, by Krista Mahr and Ross Adkin, 590 words)

North Korea executes defence chief with an anti-aircraft gun- S.Korea agency

SEOUL - North Korea executes its defence chief by putting him in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range, Seoul's National Intelligence Service says, the latest in a series of high-level purges in Pyongyang. (NORTHKOREA-PURGE/ (UPDATE 4, PICTURE), moving shortly, by Ju-min Park and James Pearson, 840 words)

Amtrak train derails in Philadelphia, killing at least five

PHILADELPHIA - An Amtrak passenger train with more than 200 passengers on board derailed in north Philadelphia on Tuesday night, killing at least five people and injuring scores of others, several of them critically, authorities say. (USA-TRAIN/DERAILMENT (UPDATE 8, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Daniel Kelley, 790 words)

GLOBAL ECONOMY

French economy gathers steam, German growth slows

PARIS/BERLIN - France posted its fastest economic growth rate in two years in the first three months of 2015 but Germany slowed from the robust pace it rattled along at late last year, official data shows. (EUROZONE-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 3), moving shortly, by Jan Strupczewski, 700 words)

+ See also:

- CHINA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 2, PICTURE), moved, by Kevin Yao, 800 words

AFRICA

Protesters to African leaders: end Burundi presidential bid

DAR ES SALAAM - Protest organisers in Burundi urge African leaders meeting in Tanzania to demand that their president halt his bid for a third term, which has triggered the nation's worst crisis since an ethnically fuelled civil war ended in 2005. (BURUNDI-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 1, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala, 620 words)

MIDDLE EAST

Yemen truce broadly holds, but reports of violations

CAIRO - A five-day humanitarian truce in Yemen appears to be broadly holding, despite reports of some air strikes overnight by Saudi-led forces and continued actions by the country's dominant Houthi group in the east. (YEMEN-SECURITY/, moved, 275 words)

Jihadists in Syria attack army-held area, dozens reported killed

BEIRUT - Islamic State fighters launch an attack on Syrian army-held areas in Homs province overnight, a Syrian military source and an organisation monitoring the war says, part of the group's efforts to expand beyond its strongholds. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, 330 words)

+ See also:

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-TOLL, moved, 100 words

Turkey probes alleged links in army with U.S.-based cleric, defence minister says

ISTANBUL - A Turkish military prosecutor has opened an investigation into allegations that a U.S.-based Islamic preacher has sympathisers within the armed forces, Defence Minister Ismet Yilmaz tells the state-run Anadolu news agency. (TURKEY-MILITARY/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words)

Iraqi refinery may be destroyed in battle to save it

BAGHDAD - Islamic State militants have dug trenches around natural gas and hydrogen tanks at Iraq's largest refinery, raising the stakes in a battle where the price of victory may be the refinery itself. (MIDEAST-IS/REFINERY, moved, 900 words)

EUROPE

Britain criticises EU over Mediterranean migrant plans

LONDON - Britain's interior minister Theresa May criticises the EU's approach to stemming the flow of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe, saying that by not sending economic migrants back, the bloc is encouraging them to travel. (EUROPE-MIGRANTS/BRITAIN, moved, 260 words)

UK's Cameron to set out new laws to tackle radicalism

LONDON - British Prime Minister David Cameron will on Wednesday set out new laws intended to curb organisations and individuals who promote militant ideologies at home and recruit young people to radical islamist groups abroad. (BRITAIN-MILITANTS/, moved, 245 words)

+ See also:

- SCOTLAND/TAXATION, expect by 1300 GMT/8 AM ET, by Tom Bergin, 800 words

ASIA

Asia boatpeople pushed back to sea as UN calls for rescue

BANGKOK - Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia continues to push boats holding thousands of migrants back to sea, a senior Thai official says, despite a U.N. appeal for a rapid rescue operation to avoid a humanitarian crisis. (ASIA-MIGRANTS/ (WRAPUPUP 1, PICTURE, TV, GRAPHIC), moved, by Amy Sawitta Lefevre, 555 words)

Police torture in China still routine despite reforms

BEIJING - Six years after China took steps to crack down on torture by police, detainees continue to be beaten, hanged by their wrists and shackled to iron chairs, New York-based Human Rights Watch says. (CHINA-RIGHTS/ (UPDATE 1, TV), moved, by Sui-lee Wee, 410 words)

UNITED STATES

Obama bets that U.S.-Gulf alliance can survive tensions over Iran

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama may fail to pacify Gulf Arab fears over his Iran nuclear diplomacy at a summit this week, following a pointed Saudi snub of the event. But a bigger question looms for Washington: how much does it matter? (USA-GULF/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Matt Spetalnick and Warren Strobel, 970 words)

+ See also:

- USA-GULF/OVAL (UPDATE 1), moved, 315 words

HEALTH

How DNA sequencing is transforming the hunt for new drugs

CHICAGO - Drug manufacturers have begun amassing enormous troves of human DNA in hopes of significantly shortening the time it takes to identify new drug candidates, a move some say is transforming the development of medicines. (HEALTH-PRECISIONMEDICINE/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Julie Steenhuysen, 1,250 words)

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