Reuters World News Highlights

BEIRUT – Syrian forces killed 13 people yesterday during  widespread protests against President Bashar al-Assad, activists  said, a day after Syria’s big power ally Russia sharpened its  criticism of Damascus in a draft United Nations resolution.

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 CAIRO – At least two people were killed and 222 wounded in  Cairo yesterday as troops fought demonstrators in the worst  violence since Egypt began its first free election in six  decades.

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 TOKYO – Japan declared its tsunami-stricken Fukushima  nuclear power plant to be in cold shutdown yesterday, taking a  major step to resolving the world’s worst nuclear crisis in 25  years but some critics questioned whether the plant was really  under control.

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 ROME/BERLIN – The credit rating agency Fitch said yesterday  it thought a comprehensive solution to the euro zone’s debt  crisis was beyond reach, putting six euro zone economies  including Italy on watch for potential near-term downgrades.

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 FORT MEADE – An American Army intelligence analyst suspected  of being behind the largest leak of classified documents in U.S.  history made his first court appearance yesterday, sitting  stone-faced as military prosecutors launched into their case  against him.

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 WASHINGTON – Republican U.S. presidential contender Mitt  Romney, once the leader and presumed nominee, is back in  front-runner mode.

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 GENEVA/MOSCOW – Russia won admission to the World Trade  Organisation yesterday after 18 years of negotiations, finally  gaining full integration into the global economy two decades  after the Soviet Union collapsed.

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MOSCOW – Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s approval  rating has dropped to its lowest level of the year in the first  opinion poll published since his ruling party suffered an  election setback and he faced the biggest protests of his  12-year rule.

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