February 27, 2017 / 3:08 PM / 5 months ago

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Editor: Janet Lawrence + 44 207 542 7923

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Top Stories

Trump budget plan boosts Pentagon, trims State Dept, EPA -officials

WASHINGTON - The White House will send federal departments a budget proposal containing the defense spending increase President Donald Trump promised, financed partly by cuts to the U.S. State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defense programs, two officials familiar with the proposal said. (USA-TRUMP/BUDGET (UPDATE 1), moved, 360 words)

+ See also:

- USA-TRUMP/ECONOMY (UPDATE 2), moved, by David Lawder, 610 words

- USA-TRUMP/GOVERNORS, moved, by Steve Holland, 390 words

Syrian opposition says to meet Russians at Geneva talks

GENEVA - The main opposition group at Syrian peace talks in Geneva plans to meet Russian envoys to discuss promises it says Moscow has not kept, a senior negotiator says. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-UN (UPDATE 2, TV), moving shortly, 490 words)

+ See also:

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-TALKS, moving shortly, by John Irish, 650 words

Iraqi forces seize Mosul bridge as thousands of civilians flee

SOUTH OF MOSUL - Iraqi forces seize a damaged Mosul bridge which could link up their units on either side of the Tigris river, as thousands of civilians flee the fighting for Islamic State's remaining stronghold in the west of the city. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/IRAQ-MOSUL (WRAPUP 1, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Stephen Kalin and Isabel Coles, 720 words)

'Moonlight' upsets 'La La Land' for top Oscar after gaffe

LOS ANGELES - African-American coming-of-age tale "Moonlight" won the Oscar for best picture on a big night for Hollywood diversity that was overshadowed by an embarrassing gaffe over the top award. (AWARDS-OSCARS/ (WRAPUP 10, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Jill Serjeant, 620 words)

+ See also:

- AWARDS-OSCARS/POLITICS (PICTURE, TV), moved, by Lisa Baertlein, 370 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/FOREIGN-IRAN (PICTURE, TV), moved, 165 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/SHOW (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Steve Gorman, 780 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/STUDIOS, moved, by Lisa Richwine, 415 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/WINNERS (FACTBOX), moved, 145 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/FASHION (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Piya Sinha-Roy, 550 words

- AWARDS-OSCARS/SHOW (PICTURE, TV), moved, by Steve Gorman, 600 words

Middle East

Last letters: From Mosul schoolboys to Islamic State 'martyrs'

MOSUL, Iraq - "My dear family, please forgive me," reads the handwritten letter discarded in the dusty halls of an Islamic State training compound in eastern Mosul. (ISLAMIC STATE-RECRUITS/ (INSIGHT, PICTURE), moved, by Stephen Kalin, 1,000 words)

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels clash with army in north

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL - Turkey-backed Syrian rebel groups clash with government forces near a city in northern Syria that the rebels recently captured from Islamic State, sources on both sides say, the second such confrontation in the region this month. (MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-CLASH (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moved, by Tom Perry and Humeyra Pamuk, 345 words)

+ See also:

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/RUSSIA-NAVY (UPDATE 1, TV, PICTURE), moved, 145 words

- MIDEAST-CRISIS/SYRIA-RUSSIA (UPDATE 1), moved, 130 words

Europe

Acrimonious election campaign deepens Northern Ireland deadlock

BELFAST - Acrimonious campaigning ahead of Thursday's snap election in Northern Ireland has increased antagonism between pro-British unionists and Irish nationalists and exacerbated fears devolved power may revert to London for the first time in a decade. (NIRELAND-POLITICS/ELECTION (PICTURE, TV), moved, by Ian Graham, 655 words)

Sistine Chapel gets full digital treatment for future restorations

VATICAN CITY - The last time the entire Sistine Chapel was photographed for posterity, digital photography was in its infancy and words like pixels were bandied about mostly by computer nerds and NASA scientists. (VATICAN-SISTINE/ (PICTURE), moved, by Philip Pullella, 480 words)

LSE scuppers Deutsche Boerse merger hopes by rejecting EU demand

LONDON/FRANKFURT - The London Stock Exchange has all but ended a planned merger with Deutsche Boerse to create Europe's biggest exchange, which had faced growing opposition since Britain's vote to leave the European Union. (DEUTSCHE BOERSE-M&A/LSE (UPDATE 2, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Huw Jones, John O'Donnell and Foo Yun Chee, 775 words)

United States

Trump's trade czar expected to get easy US Senate confirmation

WASHINGTON - Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross is expected to be easily confirmed as U.S. Commerce Secretary on Monday, clearing President Donald Trump's top trade official to start work on renegotiating trade relationships with China and Mexico. (USA-CONGRESS/ROSS (PICTURE), moved, by David Lawder, 511 words)

After anti-Trump protests, the president's fans organize own rallies

NEW YORK - Supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump are holding rallies in towns and cities across the country on Monday, partly as a rebuttal to waves of anti-Trump protests that have taken place since the Republican's election last November. (USA-TRUMP/SUPPORTERS, moved, by Jonathan Allen, 490 words)

Asia

Philippines condemns "barbaric beheading" of German hostage

MANILA - The Philippines condemn the "barbaric beheading" of an elderly German captive by Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf militants who post a video of the killing after a deadline for a $600,000 ransom passed. (PHILIPPINES-MILITANTS/GERMAN (UPDATE 2, TV, PICTURE), moved, by Manuel Mogato, 545 words)

South Korean prosecutors denied Park scandal probe extension

SEOUL - South Korean special prosecutors investigating impeached President Park Geun-hye were denied permission to extend the inquiry and question her in person, amid a graft scandal that threatens to topple her from office. (SOUTHKOREA-POLITICS/PROBE (UPDATE 3), moved, by Se Young Lee and Ju-min Park, 565 words)

+ See also:

- SOUTHKOREA-POLITICS/PARK, moved, 120 words

Indonesian police kill bomber, investigate for link to IS sympathisers

JAKARTA - Indonesian police kill a militant after he detonates a small bomb in the city of Bandung and authorities say they are investigating whether he had links to a radical network sympathetic to Islamic State. (INDONESIA-BLAST/ (UPDATE 3, PICTURE, TV), moved, by Agustinus Beo Da Costa and Gayatri Suroyo, 385 words)

S.Korea's Lotte approves land swap for missile defence - ministry

SEOUL - The board of an affiliate of South Korea's Lotte Group approved a land swap with the government that will enable authorities to deploy a U.S. missile defence system, the defence ministry says. (SOUTHKOREA-USA/THAAD-LOTTE (UPDATE 1), moved, 435 words)

Obama-era rights envoy says U.N. must investigate Myanmar

GENEVA - The U.N. Human Rights Council must set up a commission of inquiry into Myanmar's human rights record, as it has done for North Korea and Eritrea, and not spare its leader because of her iconic status, a former U.S. human rights envoy says. (MYANMAR-ROHINGYA/USA, moved, by Tom Miles, 370 words)

Killing of Kim Jong Nam organised by N.Korean ministries - S.Korea

SEOUL - The killing of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was organized by the reclusive state's ministry of state security and foreign ministry, say South Korean lawmakers briefed by their country's intelligence agency. (NORTHKOREA-MALAYSIA/SOUTHKOREA (UPDATE 2, PICTURE), moving shortly, 490 words)

+ See also:

- NORTHKOREA-MALAYSIA/ARMS (UPDATE 1, INSIGHT, PICTURE, GRAPHIC), moved, by James Pearson and Rozanna Latiff, 1,345 words

Philippine police ready to return to war on drugs

MANILA - Philippine police are ready to resume President Rodrigo Duterte's war on the drugs trade which had returned to the streets, the police chief says a month after Duterte halted police operations, labelling the force "rotten to the core". (PHILIPPINES-DRUGS/, moved, 365 words)

Health

WHO says new drugs urgently needed to fight 12 "priority pathogens"

LONDON - New antibiotics need to be developed urgently to combat 12 families of bacteria, the World Health Organization says, describing these "priority pathogens" as the greatest threats to human health. (HEALTH-WHO/ANTIBIOTICS, moved, by Kate Kelland, Health and Science Correspondent, 345 words)

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