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Reuters World News Highlights at 0820 GMT, Oct 29

Monday, 29 Oct 2012 | 8:20 AM ET

TOP STORIES

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NEW YORK - Hurricane Sandy, which could become the largest storm ever to hit the United States, is set to bring much of the East Coast, including New York and Washington, to a virtual standstill in the next few days with battering winds, flooding and the risk of widespread power outages.

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WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama faced the delicate task on Sunday of balancing his response to a potentially huge natural disaster with his own tough re-election effort as Hurricane Sandy bore down on the U.S. East Coast nine days before Election Day.

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KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysian state oil firm Petronas has agreed to the Canadian government's extension of a review of its C$5.17 billion ($5.2 billion) bid for gas producer Progress Energy Resources , said two Petronas sources familiar with the deal.

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AMMAN - Syrian jets bombarded Sunni Muslim regions in Damascus and around the country on Sunday, activists said, as President Bashar al-Assad kept up air strikes against rebels despite a U.N.-brokered truce that now appears to be in tatters.

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BEIJING - The roots of Toyota Motor Corp's China troubles run far deeper than the anti-Japan protests that have swept the country, stretching back to the 2008 launch of the Yaris subcompact -- a spectacular flop with price-conscious Chinese buyers.

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NEW DELHI - Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh gave his cabinet an overdue facelift on Sunday, bringing in younger ministers in a bid to breathe new life into his aged, scandal-tainted government ahead of state and federal elections.

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AHMEDABAD/ALINA, India - For many Indians, Narendra Modi is the man of the moment, a possible prime minister. Others see the chief minister of western Gujarat state as a Hindu zealot who did not stop the massacre of Muslims in religious riots a decade ago.

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ATHENS - Greek police arrested the editor of a weekly magazine for publishing a list of more than 2,000 names of wealthy Greeks who have placed money in Swiss bank accounts, police said on Sunday.

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SYDNEY/CANBERRA - Australia risks losing an opportunity to become a farmyard for Asia, as growing unease over foreigners buying rural land threatens to provoke protectionist policies that may deter much needed investment in agriculture.

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SITTWE, Myanmar - Muslim survivors of six days of sectarian violence in western Myanmar spoke on Sunday of fleeing bullets and burning homes to escape on fishing boats after an attack by once-peaceable Rakhine neighbours.

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BRUSSELS - European Union governments will debate a cut of at least 50 billion euros this week as the starting point for negotiations on the bloc's proposed 1 trillion-euro ($1.3 trillion) long-term budget, a source familiar with the issue said.

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KIEV - Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich's pro-business party seemed likely to hold on to a majority in parliament after an election on Sunday, but it will face a revitalised opposition boosted by a resurgent nationalist party, exit polls showed.

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MANILA - A Philippine court entered a not guilty plea for former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo on a plunder charge on Monday, a case that will be a litmus test of the government's ability to tackle entrenched corruption in the poor Southeast Asian nation.