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TOP STORIES

Rockets hits near Tel Aviv as Gaza death toll rises

GAZA - Two rockets fired from Gaza Strip target Tel Aviv

in first attack on Israel's commercial capital in 20 years,

raising stakes in showdown between Israel and Palestinians that

is moving toward all-out war (PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL/ (UPDATE 12,

moved, pix, tv, by Nidal al-Mughrabi, 1,114 words)

+ See also:

- PALESTINIANS-ISRAEL/EGYPT-MURSI (UPDATE 4), moved, by

Marwa Awad and Omar Fahmy, 604 words

BP agrees to record criminal penalties for US oil spill

NEW ORLEANS/WASHINGTON - BP Plc will pay $4.5 billion in

penalties and plead guilty to felony misconduct in Deepwater

Horizon disaster, which caused worst U.S. offshore oil spill

(BP-SPILL/ (UPDATE 7), moved, by Kathy Finn and David Ingram,

1,194 words)

+ See also:

- BP-SPILL/OUTSTANDING (FACTBOX), moved, 511 words

Petraeus says no classified info shared in affair, probe

continues

WASHINGTON - Retired General David Petraeus says he did not

share any classified documents with Paula Broadwell, woman with

whom he had affair that ended his tenure as CIA director

(USA-GENERALS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, by Andy Sullivan and Mark

Hosenball, 733 words)

Obama tours New York storm damage, consoles victims

NEW YORK - President Obama consoles grieving victims of

Superstorm Sandy on ground and surveys disaster zones, visiting

parts of New York City still struggling to recover 17 days after

storm devastated U.S. Northeast (STORM-SANDY/ (WRAPUP 2) moved,

pix, tv, by Mark Felsenthal and Chris Francescani, 938 words)

UNITED STATES

On eve of U.S. fiscal cliff talks, positions harden

WASHINGTON - As President Obama and congressional leaders

prepare for budget and tax talks aimed at preventing U.S.

economy from falling back into recession next year, Democrats

and Republicans dig in on their long-held opposing positions

(USA-FISCAL/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Richard Cowan, 978 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FISCAL/PAYROLL (UPDATE 2), moved, by Rachelle Younglai

and Kim Dixon, 729 words

U.S. intelligence committees open Benghazi attack probe

WASHINGTON - Lawmakers are briefed about timeline of events

surrounding attack on U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi,

Libya, which has become growing sore spot between Republicans

and President Obama (USA-BENGHAZI/(UPDATE 1), moved, by Susan

Cornwell and Tabassum Zakaria, 662 words)

US lawmakers pledge action after meningitis outbreak

WASHINGTON - Democratic and Republican lawmakers say they

will alter regulation of drug compounding pharmacies in hopes of

preventing more crises like rare fungal meningitis outbreak that

has now cost 32 lives (USA-HEALTH/MENINGITIS (UPDATE 2), moved,

by David Morgan, 936 words)

US Postal Service has record loss, sees 'fiscal cliff'

WASHINGTON - U.S. Postal Service reports record annual loss

and warns that, without congressional action, it could face a

cash shortfall next fall (USA-POSTAL/LOSS (UPDATE 1), moved, by

Emily Stephenson, 638 words)

AMERICAS

Colombia rebels want constitutional assembly after peace

deal

BOGOTA - Top FARC rebel negotiator wants national assembly

to change the constitution once peace deal is reached with

government, according to interview on left-wing web site

(COLOMBIA-REBELS/, moved, by Jack Kimball, 505 words)

Mexico lawmaker introduces bill to legalize marijuana

MEXICO CITY - Leftist Mexican lawmaker presents bill to

legalize production, sale and use of marijuana, adding to

growing chorus of Latin American politicians who reject

prohibitionist policies of United States (MEXICO-MARIJUANA/,

moved, by Noe Torres, 527 words)

MIDDLE EAST

France wants to review EU ban on arming Syria rebels

PARIS - France will discuss supplying arms to Syrian

opposition forces with its European partners in coming weeks now

that opposition coalition has been established, Foreign Minister

Laurent Fabius says (SYRIA-CRISIS/FRANCE (UPDATE 2), moved, by

John Irish, 602 words)

EUROPE

Spain suspends home evictions for most needy

MADRID - Spain approves measures to help needy families

facing eviction, growing problem in recession-bound nation

highlighted by suicide of woman whose home bailiffs came to

seize (SPAIN-EVICTIONS/ (UPDATE 3), moved, pix, by Sonya

Dowsett, 748 words)

Once taboo, fur sales hit new highs on Chinese demand

ROME - Sales of fur reach record highs this year,

International Fur Trade Federation says, as China's growing

appetite for luxury goods puts once-taboo material back on

catwalksks (LUXURY-FUR/ moved, by Naomi O'Leary, 300 words)

ASIA

Myanmar's Thein Sein, junta henchman to radical reformer

BANGKOK, Nov 16 (Reuters) - There is a Jekyll-and-Hyde

quality to President Thein Sein, the bookish-looking former

general Barack Obama will meet Monday during first visit by a

U.S. president to Myanmar (MYANMAR-THEINSEIN/ (NEWSMAKER),

moved, pix, by Andrew R.C. Marshall and Martin Petty, 1,018

words)

OCEANIA

Australia quarantines farm to contain H7 bird flu outbreak

SYDNEY/PARIS - Australia's first outbreak of highly

pathogenic bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by

cull of 50,000 chickens, authorities say, although they do not

know what caused the case at egg farm in New South Wales state

(AUSTRALIA-BIRDFLU/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 300 words)

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