Reuters World News Highlights

 AMMAN – Security forces shot dead 17 people in Syria yesterday and rebels killed seven police in an ambush, activists  said, after the U.N. human rights chief put the death toll from  nine months of protest against President Bashar al-Assad at  5,000.

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JERUSALEM – An Israeli minister denounced a group of  hardline Jewish settlers as “terrorists” yesterday after they  vandalised an Israeli army base in the occupied West Bank.

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TEHRAN – U.S. President Barack Obama should apologise for  sending an unmanned spy plane into Iranian territory rather than  asking for it back after it was seized, Iran’s Foreign Ministry  spokesman said yesterday.

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STRASBOURG, France – Up to 26 European Union countries will  finalise a pact to enforce budget discipline more strictly in  the euro zone by March, a top official said yesterday, as the  bloc tries to move quickly to rebuild confidence but without  Britain’s backing.

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LONDON – Canada still has a legal obligation under United  Nations rules to cut its emissions despite the country’s pullout  from the Kyoto Protocol, the U.N. climate chief said yesterday.

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WASHINGTON – The Republican-led U.S. House of  Representatives defied a White House veto threat yesterday and  passed a bill to expedite approval of the Keystone XL  Canada-to-Texas pipeline project.

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MEXICO CITY – Major developed economies and rising world  powers need to back the International Monetary Fund with more  resources to fight financial crisis, President Felipe Calderon  said yesterday, as his country took over leadership of the  Group of 20 heavyweight economies.
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HAVANA – Cuba has detained top executives of the powerful  military-run Tecnotex company, broadening a corruption  investigation that has already shuttered three foreign firms,  foreign business sources told Reuters.

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