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Reuters World News Highlights at 1400 GMT, Oct 29

TOP STORIES

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NEW YORK - Hurricane Sandy, the monster storm bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, strengthened on Monday after hundreds of thousands moved to higher ground, public transport shut down and the U.S. stock market suffered its first weather-related closure in 27 years.

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AMMAN - Syrian jets bombed suburbs of Damascus and a car bomb killed 10 people in the capital on Monday, the last day of a four-day truce which U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon acknowledged had failed.

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TOKYO - Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda made clear on Monday he was in no rush to go to the polls, speaking of the risk of a ``political vacuum'' in a speech likely to anger an opposition that has urged him to keep a promise to call an election soon.

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ROME - Former Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi faced a fresh setback on Monday as early counting in a local election in Sicily showed his divided centre-right party trailing in a former stronghold and big gains for the anti-establishment 5 Star Movement.

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WASHINGTON - With one week left in the tight battle for the White House, it's all about the vital swing state of Ohio. Unless it's about Colorado - or Iowa, or tiny New Hampshire.

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THE HAGUE - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberal Party and the Labour Party have agreed a coalition deal, the parties said on Monday, paving the way for a pro-austerity, pro-European government to be sworn in as early as next week.

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ATHENS - A major Greek newspaper reprinted the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts on Monday and the editor who first published the list was to go on trial for violating data privacy laws.

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SAN FRANCISCO - One morning in April, Ron Conway, the billionaire technology investor, sat in a conference room on the second floor of San Francisco's City Hall with about 50 representatives from the city's business community.

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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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KIEV - Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich's party was on course on Monday to secure a parliamentary majority but international monitors said flaws in the way the election was conducted meant the country had taken a ``step backwards''.

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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.