March 24, 2018 / 3:05 PM / 6 months ago

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Editor: Mark Heinrich + 44 207 542 7923

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TOP STORIES

France mourns gendarme who dies after taking place of hostage

PARIS - France is in mourning for a security officer who dies from gunshot wounds after voluntarily taking the place of a female hostage during a supermarket siege by an Islamist militant. (FRANCE-SECURITY/GENDARME (UPDATE 3, PIX, TV), moved, by Brian Love and Emmanuel Jarry, 641 words)

+ See also:

- FRANCE-SECURITY/ATTACKER (UPDATE 2), moved, by Johanna Decorse, 402 words

China warns U.S. it will defend own trade interests

BEIJING - The United States has flouted trade rules with an inquiry into intellectual property and China will defend its interests, Vice Premier Liu He tells U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a telephone call, Chinese state media report. (USA-TRADE/CHINA (WRAPUP 4), moved, by Ryan Woo and Hallie Gu, 909 words)

+ See also:

USA-TRADE/EU (UPDATE 4, TV, PIX), moved, by Richard Lough and Philip Blenkinsop, 600 words

Hundreds of thousands due to march for tighter U.S. gun controls

WASHINGTON - Hundreds of thousands of Americans are expected to rally nationwide on Saturday for tighter gun laws in "March For Our Lives" protests led by survivors of the Florida school massacre, which reiginited public anger over mass shootings. (USA-GUNS/ (PIX, TV), by Ian Simpson, 425 words)

U.S. charges, sanctions Iranians for global cyber attacks

WASHINGTON - The United States charges and sanctions nine Iranians and an Iranian company for attempting to hack into hundreds of universities worldwide, dozens of companies and parts of the U.S. government, including its main energy regulator, on behalf of Tehran. (USA-CYBER/IRAN (UPDATE 4, PIX), moved, by Dustin Volz, 952 words)

EUROPE

Former Catalan leader faces arrest in Finland

HELSINKI/BARCELONA - Former Catalan leader Carles Puigdemont faces arrest in Finland after authorities there receive an international warrant for his detention issued by Spain, the latest legal action against separatist politicians from the wealthy northeastern region. (SPAIN-POLITICS/CATALONIA-FINLAND (UPDATE 1, PIX), moved, by Sam Edwards and Jussi Rosendahl, 343 words)

Italian election winners reach deal on parliamentary speakers

ROME - Italy's anti-establishment 5-Star Movement hooks up with conservative parties to elect the speakers of both houses of parliament, but there's no sign yet they might extend this pact and form a government. (ITALY-POLITICS/PARLIAMENT (PIX, TV), moved, by Crispian Balmer, 526 words)

Croatians protest against European treaty they say threatens traditional family

ZAGREB - Thousands of Croat conservatives protest against the proposed ratification of a European treaty that describes gender as a "social role," fearing it could undermine traditional family values in the predominantly Catholic country. (CROATIA-PROTESTS/ (PIX, TV), moved, 416 words)

Who's your friend? Wistful EU embraces May before Brexit

BRUSSELS - With Brexit a year away, European Union leaders made a point on Friday of embracing Theresa May, with some treating her troubles with Russia and the United States as an opportunity to show Britain who its friends are. (BRITAIN-EU/FRIENDS, moved, by Gabriela Baczynska, 468 words)

+ See also:

- BRITAIN-EU/BREXICON (FACTBOX), moved, by Alastair Macdonald and Guy Faulconbridge, 1,596 words

The Catholic Church - coming to a Starbucks near you?

VATICAN CITY - It might be called Cappuccino Catholicism. Young Catholics tell their Church elders that the faith should be spread in the places where they like to hang out, such as coffee bars. (POPE-SYNOD/YOUNG), moved, by Philip Pullella, 361 words)

MIDDLE EAST

Bomb kills two in Alexandria before Egypt presidential vote

CAIRO - A bomb placed under a car explodes in Egypt's second city Alexandria, killing two people including a policeman, two days before the country is due to hold a presidential election. (EGYPT-BLAST/ (UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved, 485 words)

+ See also:

- EGYPT-MEDIA/, moved, 338 words

As Syrian rebels quit Ghouta, Douma stands alone

BEIRUT - The Syrian army paused its bombardment of Douma, the last rebel bastion near Damascus, after midnight, a war monitor says, as insurgents prepare to leave the rest of their former enclave of eastern Ghouta. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-GHOUTA (UPDATE 2), moved, 597 words)

Iran should turn to Russia, China after Bolton nomination - senior MP

DUBAI - Iran should strengthen ties with Russia and China to counter a tougher U.S. stance expected after President Donald Trump's appointment of hawk John Bolton as national security adviser, a senior parliament member says. (USA-TRUMP/BOLTON-IRAN (UPDATE 1), moved, 249 words)

+ See also:

- USA-TRUMP/BOLTON-REACTION (UPDATE 1), moved, 572 words)

AFRICA

Ivorians vote in senate poll likely to shore up president's power

ABIDJAN - Ivorians vote for a new senate in a poll likely to shore up President Alassane Ouattara's grip on power, amidst an opposition boycott, while doing little to relieve ethnic tensions lingering from a decade of crisis. (IVORYCOAST-ELECTION/ (PIX), moved, by Ange Aboa, 341 words)

ASIA

S.Korea says North agrees to hold summit preparation talks

SEOUL - North Korea has agreed to hold high-level talks with South Korea on Thursday at the border truce village of Panmunjom to prepare for a summit of their leaders planned for April, the South says. (NORTHKOREA-MISSILES/SOUTHKOREA (UPDATE 1), moved, by Cynthia Kim, 265 words)

UNITED STATES

Trump signs budget deal after raising government shutdown threat

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump signs Congress's newly passed $1.3 trillion spending bill, ending several hours of confusion spurred by a tweeted veto threat that raised the specter of another government shutdown. (USA-FISCAL/CONGRESS (UPDATE 11, PIX, TV), moved, by Steve Holland and Richard Cowan, 523 words)

U.S. Justice Department to ban bump stocks

WASHINGTON - Justice Department is proposing rule changes that will effectively ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like machine gun, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions says. (USA-GUNS/BUMPSTOCKS (UPDATE 1), moved, 325 words)

AMERICAS

New Peruvian leader vows to fight corruption 'at any cost'

LIMA - Peru's new president, Martin Vizcarra, promises to fight corruption "at any cost," two days after his predecessor was toppled by a sprawling graft scandal and constant clashes with the opposition-run Congress. (PERU-POLITICS/ (UPDATE 3, TV, PIX), moved, by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj, 477 words)

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