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Reuters World News Highlights 1800 GMT Oct 30

TOP STORIES

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NEW YORK - Millions of people awoke on Tuesday to scenes of destruction wrought by monster storm Sandy after it smashed into the eastern United States, cutting power to swathes of the nation's most densely populated region, swamping New York's subway system and submerging streets in Manhattan's financial district

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WASHINGTON - A tense and unpredictable race for the White House became even more so on Monday, as mammoth storm Sandy created delicate political challenges for President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney and raised the possibility of a chaotic voting process.

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AMMAN - Syrian warplanes bombed rebel targets with renewed intensity on Tuesday after the end of a widely ignored four-day truce between President Bashar al-Assad's forces and insurgents.

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RAMALLAH - Palestinians have launched a diplomatic blitz aimed at garnering a strong majority for a vote granting them non-member statehood at the United Nations slated for next month, officials said on Tuesday.

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TRIPOLI - Libya's new prime minister on Tuesday presented a coalition cabinet drawn from liberal and Islamist parties to the national congress, which had rejected his predecessor's line-up.

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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 - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Bosnia on Tuesday to overcome ethnic infighting and pursue constitutional reforms needed for any chance of joining NATO and the European Union.

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KIGALI - Rwanda's high court on Tuesday sentenced a leading opposition politician to eight years in prison, in a case linked to the 1994 genocide and seen as a test of the judiciary's independence.

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ATHENS - A Greek coalition partner confirmed on Tuesday it would vote against labour reforms proposed by foreign lenders, ignoring the prime minister's appeal for a united front to push through more unpopular austerity.

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ROME - The emergence of the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement as the largest party in Sicilian elections signals a radical shift in Italy's political landscape, with parliamentary elections five months away.

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JOHANNESBURG - A storm of violent wildcat strikes in South Africa's mines has eased, leaving President Jacob Zuma battered but defiant, and buoying his chances of heading off rivals to win a party leadership election in December.

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SITTWE, Myanmar - As security forces police the edgy aftermath of sectarian bloodshed in western Myanmar, fearful Buddhists and Muslims are arming themselves with homemade weapons, testing the government's resolve to prevent a new wave of violence.