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Reuters World News Highlights at 2200 GMT Oct 29

TOP STORIES

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NEW YORK/REHOBOTH BEACH - Hurricane Sandy, one of the biggest storms ever to hit the United States, battered the densely populated East Coast on Monday, shutting down transportation, forcing evacuations in flood-prone areas and interrupting the presidential election campaign.

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BEIRUT/AMMAN - Syrian jets bombed parts of Damascus on Monday in what residents said were the capital's fiercest air raids yet, at the end of what was supposed to be a four-day truce.

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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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MADRID/ROME - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy kept financial markets guessing on Monday over whether he will seek a credit line from the euro zone's rescue fund but said he would do so ``when I think it is in the interests of Spain''.

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ROME - The divided party of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi suffered a fresh blow on Monday as voters turned against the centre-right in its former stronghold of Sicily, only five months before national parliamentary elections.

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KIEV - Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovich's party was on course on Monday to secure a new parliamentary majority, but international monitors condemned the election as flawed and said the country had taken a step back under his leadership.

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VILNIUS - Lithuania's president on Monday vetoed a proposed coalition government, saying one of the three parties involved stood accused of serious voter fraud in a weekend election and was therefore unfit to govern.

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PARIS - France's Socialist government on Monday rebuffed calls from business leaders to slash labour charges, to boost competitiveness, and raise VAT, saying that would hit consumers.

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THE HAGUE - Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte's Liberals agreed a coalition with the Labour Party on Monday and vowed to follow a path of austerity.

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ATHENS - A prominent Greek journalist who published the names of more than 2,000 wealthy Greeks with Swiss bank accounts appeared in court on Monday to stand trial for violating data privacy laws in a case which aroused international concern.