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Reuters World News Highlights at 1400 GMT, Oct 31

TOP STORIES

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NEW YORK - Millions of people across the U.S. Northeast stricken by massive storm Sandy will attempt to resume normal lives on Wednesday as companies, markets and airports reopen, despite grim projections of power and mass transit outages lasting several more days.

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KETTERING, Ohio - President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney briefly put aside their fierce battle for the White House on Tuesday, avoiding politics to focus on relief efforts after mammoth storm Sandy left millions of Americans struggling to recover.

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BEIRUT - Syrian rebels said on Wednesday they had formed a brigade of sympathetic Palestinians in a Damascus district to fight armed Palestinians aligned with President Bashar al-Assad.

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BRUSSELS/ATHENS - Euro zone finance ministers conferred on how to keep Greece afloat as negotiations between Athens and its foreign lenders neared conclusion over reforms the country must implement to receive fresh emergency loans.

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WASHINGTON - U.S. job growth likely picked up in October, but not enough to prevent the unemployment rate from rising off a near four-year low, although that might not matter for next week's presidential election.

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LOS ANGELES - Walt Disney Co agreed to buy filmmaker George Lucas's Lucasfilm Ltd and its ``Star Wars'' franchise for $4.05 billion in cash and stock, a b lockbuster deal that includes the surprise promise of a new film in the series in 2015.

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LONDON - Britain's growth strategy of tax cuts and deregulation will not provide a fast track to economic prosperity and needs to be reassessed, according to a government-commissioned review published on Wednesday.

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TRIPOLI - Protesters stormed Libya's national assembly on Tuesday, forcing the cancellation of a vote on a proposed coalition government named by the country's new prime minister just hours earlier.

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BRUSSELS - A compromise proposal on the European Union's long-term budget, cutting more than 50 billion euros ($64.5 billion) from the original blueprint, ran into a crossfire of criticism on Tuesday from governments on both sides of the spending debate.

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SARAJEVO - Europe and the United States teamed up on Tuesday to press Bosnia, Serbia and Kosovo to overcome the legacy of Yugoslavia's bloody collapse as a condition of closer integration with the West.