April 7, 2017 / 6:01 AM / 7 months ago

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TOP STORIES

Escalating U.S. role in Syria, Trump orders strikes on Assad airbase

WASHINGTON/PALM BEACH - U.S. President Donald Trump says he ordered missile strikes against a Syrian airfield from which a deadly chemical weapons attack was launched, declaring he acted in America’s “vital national security interest”. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA (WRAPUP 10, PIX, TV, GRAPHIC), by Phil Stewart and Steve Holland, 1,066 words)

+ See also:

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-REACTION (PIX, TV, GRAPHIC), by Colin Packham, 389 words

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-GOVERNOR (UPDATE 3), moved, 336 words

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-OBSERVATORY (UPDATE 1), moved, 101 words

- USA-TRUMP/HIGHLIGHTS (HIGHLIGHTS), moved, 338 words

Under investigation, Trump ally steps down from House Russia probe

WASHINGTON - Republican head of a congressional inquiry into alleged Russian meddling in 2016 U.S. presidential election says he will temporarily step aside from probe because he is under investigation for disclosing classified information. (USA-TRUMP/RUSSIA-NUNES (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved, by Patricia Zengerle and Dustin Volz, 771 words)

Trump, China’s Xi dine ahead of talks on security, trade

PALM BEACH - U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping sit down together to dine on pan-seared Dover sole and New York strip steak, spending some social time before digging into thorny bilateral security and trade issues. (USA-CHINA/ (UPDATE 6, PIX, TV), moved, by Steve Holland, 889 words)

ASIA

Wave of attacks across southern Thailand after new constitution signed

BANGKOK - Muslim-majority southern Thailand is rocked by about 23 co-ordinated attacks, including bomb blasts, a security officer says, just hours after King Maha Vajiralongkorn signed a new constitution as a step towards ending military rule. (THAILAND-SOUTH/ATTACKS (UPDATE 1), moving shortly, by Panarat Thepgumpanat and Patpicha Tanakasempipat, 434 words)

Philippines to upgrade facilities, not occupy new areas in disputed sea - military

MANILA - The Philippines will upgrade existing facilities on its inhabited islands and reefs in the South China Sea and not occupy new territories, adhering to a 2002 informal code in the disputed waters, defence and military officials say. (SOUTHCHINASEA-PHILIPPINES/ (PIX, GRAPHICS), moved, by Manuel Mogato, 436 words)

AMERICAS

Venezuelan opposition, security forces clash in anti-Maduro protests

CARACAS - Venezuelan opposition protesters and security officers clash as country’s fragmented opposition gains new impetus against socialist government it blames for country’s social and economic collapse. (VENEZUELA-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moved, by Alexandra Ulmer and Girish Gupta, 610 words)

EUROPE

Macron, Le Pen still lead French election race, left-wing maverick is wild card

PARIS - French centrist Emmanuel Macron and far-right leader Marine Le Pen still hold firm lead over pack in presidential election, polls show, though surge of support for veteran far-left campaigner throws wild card into race. (FRANCE-ELECTION/ (UPDATE 2, GRAPHIC), moved, by Leigh Thomas and Sarah White, 599 words)

UNITED STATES

Senate goes ‘nuclear,’ ends Democrats’ blockade of Trump court pick

WASHINGTON - Senate Republicans crush Democratic blockade of President Donald Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee in fierce partisan brawl, approving rule change dubbed “nuclear option” to allow for conservative judge Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation by Friday. (USA-COURT/GORSUCH (UPDATE 12, PIX, TV), moved, by Lawrence Hurley and Andrew Chung, 997 words)

Ex-U.S. Attorney Bharara takes aim at Trump with criticism and jokes

Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara takes several shots at the administration of President Donald Trump, calling for “facts not falsehoods” as the basis for polticial discourse and a more welcoming stance towards immigrants in his first public speaking event since being fired one month ago. (USA-TRUMP/JUSTICE, moved, 396 words)

Twitter refuses U.S. order to reveal user behind anti-Trump account

SAN FRANCISCO - Twitter Inc files a federal lawsuit to block an order by the U.S. government demanding that it reveal who is behind an account opposed to President Donald Trump’s tough immigration policies. (TWITTER-LAWSUIT/ (UPDATE 6, PIX), moved, by David Ingram, 778 words)

AFRICA

Thousands expected to march in South Africa on Friday against Zuma

JOHANNESBURG - Thousands of marchers are due to protest in major South African cities against President Jacob Zuma on Friday, demanding he quit after a cabinet reshuffle triggered the latest crisis of his presidency. (SAFRICA-POLITICS/ (PIX), by James Macharia, 630 words)

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