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Billionaire PM cements Georgia grip, ally elected president

TBILISI - A little-known ally of billionaire Prime Minister

Bidzina Ivanishvili wins a landslide victory in Georgia's

presidential election, cementing the ruling coalition's grip on

power after Mikheil Saakashvili's 10-year rule.

(GEORGIA-ELECTION/ (UPDATE 5, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Margarita

Antidze and Timothy Heritage, 700 words)

+ See also:


Margarita Antidze and Timothy Heritage, 500 words

German paper says Obama aware of spying on Merkel since 2010

BERLIN - A German newspaper reports that President Barack

Obama knew his intelligence service was eavesdropping on Angela

Merkel as long ago as 2010, contradicting reports that he had

told the German leader he did not know. (GERMANY-USA/SPYING

(UPDATE 1), moved, 750 words)

+ See also:

USA-SECURITY/, moved, Aruna Viswanatha and Anna Yukhananov,

550 words

As Iraq seeks U.S. arms, bombs kill another 55

BAGHDAD - A dozen bombings in Iraq kill 55 people as the

prime minister prepares to travel to Washington to seek

President Barack Obama's help in confronting a wave of sectarian

violence fueled by Syria's civil war. (IRAQ-VIOLENCE/ (UPDATE 3,

PICTURE, TV), moved, by Kareem Raheem and Ahmed Rasheed, 800


Israel to free more Palestinian prisoners for peace talks

JERUSALEM - Israel is to release 26 Palestinian prisoners in

a second stage of a deal brokered by the United States in July

that brought a resumption of peace talks. (PALESTINIANS ISRAEL/,

moved, by Allyn Fisher-Ilan, 450 words)

+ See also:

PALESTINIANS-ECONOMY/ (ANALYSIS), moved, by Ali Sawafta and

Noah Browning, 1,200 words


Rocker Lou Reed of Velvet Underground dies at 71

NEW YORK - Lou Reed, the pioneering songwriter and musician

behind the Velvet Underground, one of the most influential rock

bands which fused art and music in collaboration with artist

Andy Warhol, dies at age 71. (USA-LOUREED/ (UPDATE 3), moved,

700 words)

Data center glitch is latest problem in 'Obamacare' rollout

WASHINGTON - A data center that hosts the key website for

insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama's healthcare

law and a hub for verifying customer information lost

connectivity in the latest problem to the "Obamacare" rollout.

+ See also:

USA-HEALTHCARE/CONGRESS, moved, by David Morgan and Susan

Cornwell, 1,000 words


Kurdish militants tighten grip on Syria's northeast

AMMAN - Kurdish militants move to consolidate their control

of an oil-producing region in northeastern Syria after seizing a

border crossing with Iraq from Islamist rebels, activists say.

(SYRIA-CRISIS/ UPDATE 1, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Khaled Yacoub

Oweis, 700 words)

+ See also:

- SYRIA-CRISIS/OPCW, moved, 300 words

- SYRIA-CRISIS/GENEVA, moved, 300 words

Iranian capital takes down some anti-American posters

DUBAI - Tehran authorities have taken down some

anti-American posters, amid signs Iran is seeking better

relations with the United States as the two sides prepare to

hold talks over its nuclear program. (IRAN-USA/POSTERS, moved,

350 words)

+ See also:

IRAN NUCLEAR/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 350 words

In Libya's east, a former rebel commander tests Tripoli

BREGA, Libya - For Libyan militia leader Ibrahim al-Jathran,

shutting down half the country's oil production with an armed

militia is not a crime, it is the start of a just battle for a

fair share of country's petroleum wealth. (LIBYA-OIL/PROTESTS/,

NEWSMAKER, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Ulf Laessing and Ghaith

Shennib, 1,200 words)

Egypt seeks to lure Gulf investors amid turmoil

CAIRO - Egypt is planning a charm offensive to persuade Gulf

Arab entrepreneurs to invest in its economy, battered by

political upheaval, protests and violence. (EGYPT-INVESTMENT/,

moved, by Maggie Fick, 500 words)


Argentina's ailing president faces tough congressional vote

BUENOS AIRES - Argentine leader Cristina Fernandez's allies

took a beating in midterm congressional election, killing any

chance of a constitutional changes to allow her a third term and

kicking off a succession struggle ahead of the 2015 presidential


Hugh Bronstein, 600 words)

Chile's Bachelet set to return to power but obstacles await

RANCAGUA, Chile - Michelle Bachelet is a safe bet to return

to power in Chile's presidential election but, now touting a

more ambitious program of leftist reforms, she will need every

ounce of her political skill to push them through.


GMT/4 P.M. ET, by Rosalba O'Brien and Antonio De la Jara, 1,600



China to hold first trial of anti-graft activists

BEIJING - Three Chinese anti-graft activists who agitated

for officials to disclose their assets go on trial in the first

case of its kind that underscores the limits of the government's

tolerance of challenges to its authority. (CHINA-CORRUPTION/,

moved, by Ben Blanchard, 600 words)

Blasts kill 5 at rally for Indian opposition candidate Modi

NEW DELHI - Explosions at an Indian election rally kill five

people and wound 83 in the eastern city of Patna, the chief

minister of Bihar state says. (INDIA-POLITICS/BLASTS (UPDATE 3),

moved, by Rajesh Kumar Singh, 660 words)

Afghan watchdog blames government for election shortcomings

KABUL - Afghanistan's independent election watchdog blames

the government for failing to prepare the ground for next year's

presidential election, and an opposition leader accuses

President Hamid Karzai of trying to influence the vote.

+ See also:

AFGHANISTAN-ATTACK/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200 words


Power struggle in Czech election winner hits coalition talks

PRAGUE - Attempts to form a new Czech government after this

weekend's election suffer a setback when the winning center-left

party tried to oust its leader due to an unexpectedly weak

showing at the ballot box. (CZECH-ELECTION/ (UPDATE 1), moved,

by Robert Muller, 600 words)

Spaniards rally against court's freeing of ETA member

MADRID - Thousands of people rally in Madrid to protest

against a European court ruling which released an ETA member

from jail and opened the way for dozens of other convicted

Basque separatists to walk free. (SPAIN-ETA/ PICTURE), moved, by

Sarah White, 450 words)


U.N. peacekeeper killed as Congo's army gains ground

KINSHASA - A U.N. peacekeeper is killed and another injured

during a third day of fighting between government forces and

rebels in eastern Congo as the army presses toward the rebel

stronghold of Rutshuru. (CONGO-DEMOCRATIC/REBELS (UPDATE 1),

moved, by Kenny Katombe and Chrispin Mvano, 600 words)

European, African observers say Madagascar election credible

ANTANANARIVO - Madagascar's first presidential election

since a military-backed coup was free and fair, European Union

(EU) and Southern African observers say, as early results

trickled out two days after the poll. (MADAGASCAR-ELECTION/

PICTURE, TV, moved, by Richard Lough and Alain Iloniaina, 400