Reuters World News Highlights

MINSK – Police in Belarus beat demonstrators with batons and  rounded up opposition leaders in a violent crackdown after an  election yesterday that was certain to return President  Alexander Lukashenko for a fourth term.
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JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said  yesterday his government would pursue Middle East peace efforts  despite the collapse of U.S.-brokered direct negotiations with  the Palestinians.
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BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is expected to  reveal his new cabinet today, ending a nine month political  vacuum as investors seek stability to rebuild Iraq after years  of war.
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KABUL/KUNDUZ
, Afghanistan – Taliban insurgents attacked  Kabul and a major city in the north yesterday as the toll for  foreign troops killed in 2010 passed 700, nearly a third of the  total killed in over nine years of war.
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ISLAMABAD – Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao lauded yesterday Pakistan’s efforts to battle al Qaeda, just days after  the United States said its ally could do more to crack down on  militants, especially along the Afghan border.
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WASHINGTON – Democrats moved yesterday to bring President  Barack Obama’s strategic nuclear arms treaty with Russia to a  final vote in the U.S. Senate this week but rising Republican  anger over partisanship threatened to derail the accord.
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KHARTOUM
– Sudan will adopt an Islamic constitution if the  south splits away in a referendum next month, President Omar  Hassan al-Bashir said yesterday.

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LONDON – Europe saw little respite yesterday from the Arctic  conditions that closed airports and disrupted travel over the  weekend before Christmas, traditionally one of the busiest times  of the year.

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