Reuters World News Highlights

JERUSALEM – Hours after the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to grant de-facto statehood to Palestine, Israel responded on Friday by announcing it was authorising 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
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CAIRO – Tens of thousands of Egyptians protested against President Mohamed Mursi on Friday after an Islamist-led assembly raced through approval of a new constitution in a bid to end a crisis over the Islamist leader’s newly expanded powers.
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BEIRUT – Syrian air force jets bombarded rebel targets on Friday close to the Damascus airport road and a regional airline said foreign carriers had halted flights to the capital.
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HATFIELD – President Barack Obama hit the road on Friday to turn up pressure on Republicans in the “fiscal cliff” talks, urging Americans to support his drive to raise taxes on the wealthy while extending tax cuts for the middle class.
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WASHINGTON – The U.S. Senate on Friday resoundingly approved new sanctions on trade with Iran’s energy, port, shipping and ship-building sectors, its latest effort to ratchet up economic pressure on Tehran over its nuclear programme.
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PARIS – The euro zone’s crisis is far from over and its members must tighten budgets and forge a banking union to leave behind the “fairy world” that allowed problems to grow, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Friday.
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KUWAIT – Tens of thousands of people marched in Kuwait on Friday calling for a voter boycott, a day before a parliamentary election that looks unlikely to defuse tensions in the U.S.-allied, oil-producing Gulf country.
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JAKARTA – China’s plan to board and search ships that illegally enter what it considers its territory in the disputed South China Sea could spark naval clashes and hurt the region’s economy, Southeast Asia’s top diplomat said on Friday.

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