Reuters World News Highlights

BAGHDAD – The United States will reduce the number of troops  in Iraq by around 12,000 in the next six months, the U.S.  military said yesterday, a step in President Barack Obama’s plan  to end combat operations in August 2010.

JERUSALEM – Iran has sufficiently mastered nuclear  technology to be able to produce a bomb if it chooses, Israel’s  military intelligence chief was quoted as saying yesterday.

TEHRAN – Iran has test-fired a new air-to-surface missile,  Iranian media reported yesterday, in the Islamic Republic’s  latest display of its military capability.

EL FASHER, Sudan – Sudan’s President Omar Hassan al-Bashir  threatened yesterday to expel diplomats and more aid groups,  brandishing a sword at a Darfur rally days after a Hague court  issued a warrant for him for war crimes.

WASHINGTON – The White House named three nominees yesterday  for senior jobs at the U.S. Treasury Department, which still is  trying to fill out its top ranks while dealing with a financial  crisis.

DAR ES SALAAM – Developing countries could face a financing  gap of $270-$700 billion — equivalent to the latest U.S.  economic rescue package — to help deal with the effects of the  global crisis, the World Bank said yesterday.

SEOUL – North Koreans voted yesterday in carefully  controlled polls analysts say will help start grooming a  successor to Kim Jong-il in leading a reclusive country at  loggerheads with Washington over its nuclear programme.

ANTANANARIVO – Mutiny broke out in a Madagascar military  camp outside the capital Antananarivo yesterday as the island’s  opposition leader spent a second day in hiding after a crackdown  on his anti-government movement.

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