Reuters World News Highlights

BRUSSELS – European Union leaders agreed on new fiscal rules  enshrining tougher budget discipline yesterday, an EU official  said, after the European Central Bank doused hopes of dramatic  action on its part to arrest the euro area’s debt crisis.
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BEIRUT – A Syrian pipeline carrying crude from oilfields in  the east of the country was blown up near the restive city of  Homs yesterday, according to anti-government activists and the  official news agency SANA.
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MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is in little  immediate danger of being toppled by a wave of opposition  protests but they could mark the beginning of the end for him if  he does not make changes to restore his legitimacy.
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BLACKSBURG, West Virginia – A gunman ambushed and killed a  campus police officer and was later reported to have been found  dead yesterday at Virginia Tech University, the site of one of  the worst shooting rampages in U.S. history.
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WASHINGTON – The campaign of Republican presidential  candidate Mitt Romney yesterday launched a fierce attack on  Newt Gingrich, who shot to double-digit leads over Romney in  opinion polls of several states.
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WASHINGTON – Republicans in the U.S. House of  Representatives began to fall into line yesterday behind a  bill to extend an expiring payroll tax break after their leaders  sweetened the measure with a provision that President Barack  Obama has threatened to veto.
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LONDON – Algeria’s Islamists, in the political wilderness  since their last attempt to win power dissolved into civil war,  are now trying again, galvanized by the success of their  brethren elsewhere in north Africa in the wake of the “Arab  Spring”.
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ISLAMABAD – Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is stable  and resting in a Dubai hospital and will undergo further tests,  according to his doctor, the presidential spokesman said on  Thursday, hoping to quell speculation the unpopular leader might  resign.

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