Reuters World News Highlights

LONDON – The insurgency in Afghanistan is growing and the success of the campaign against the Taliban cannot be taken for granted, General Stanley McChrystal, the head of US and NATO troops, said yesterday.

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BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki announced a new coalition that will run against former Shi’ite Muslim allies in January’s national elections, raising the prospect of intra-sectarian strife.

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PADANG, Indonesia – Rescue teams struggled yesterday to reach scores of people trapped under debris and survivors pleaded for aid after a powerful quake hit the Indonesian city of Padang, possibly killing thousands.

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HOI AN, Vietnam – Millions of people were battling to cope with the aftermath of a typhoon that cut a destructive path through parts of Southeast Asia, killing 400, as an even stronger storm headed towards the Philippines.

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SIUMU, Samoa – Rescuers fished bloated corpses from the South Pacific off Samoa and pulled bodies from the mud and twisted rubble of devastated islands as the death toll from a series of tsunamis neared 200.

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WASHINGTON – US consumer spending rose at its fastest in nearly 8 years in August, but a persistently weak labor market and below-forecast expansion in manufacturing in September could hamper a nascent economic recovery.

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BUCHAREST – Romania’s Social Democrats quit the coalition government yesterday in protest at the sacking of a minister before a November presidential election, jolting markets and raising the risk of failure to meet IMF aid terms.

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LONDON – Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said yesterday it was prepared to prosecute BAE Systems for bribery but stopped short of formally requesting a criminal trial of Europe’s biggest defence contractor.

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BEIJING – China celebrated its wealth and rising might with a show of goose-stepping troops, gaudy floats and nuclear-capable missiles in Beijing yesterday, 60 years after Mao Zedong proclaimed its embrace of communism.

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