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While U Slept. The Big 5 Overnight News Stories. Thursday, March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010

NETANYAHU OFFERS ‘REGRET’ TO BIDEN FOR TIMING OF HOUSING PLAN APPROVAL Israeli Prime Minister tries to salvage efforts by Biden to jump-start peace talks, deeply undermined by announcement of Israeli construction in disputed East Jerusalem just as American VP landed in the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is said to want to scrap plans to begin indirect peace talks with Israel after 14 month lull. (VOA)

BATTLES HEAT UP IN SOMALIA, AS FIGHTING REACHES HEART OF CAPITAL Reports of heavy fighting and shelling in central Mogadishu on Thursday after assault launched by government forces against Islamist rebels Al-Shabaab in the northern outskirts of the capital left 29 dead. (CNN)

QUAKE RAVAGED CHILE TURNS TO BRAND NEW PRESIDENT Two weeks after an earthquake killed hundreds, Chile puts its hopes in the economic skills of Harvard-trained conservative billionaire Sebastian Pinera, who will be sworn in as President on Thursday.  (Reuters)

KENNEDY BLASTS PRESS, PLEADS TO TURN FOCUS FROM SCANDAL TO AFGHANISTAN Rep. Patrick Kennedy, son of late Sen. Edward Kennedy, calls US press corps “despicable” for focusing on alleged sex scandals in Congress rather growing doubts about Afghan war effort (TPM/CSpan video)

CHINA MUSCLES TOWARD TOP OF FORBES BILLIONAIRES LIST Mexican financier Carlos Slim overtakes Bill Gates as the world’s richest man, according to Forbes, while China moves to the No. 2 slot (behind the U.S.) for number of billionaires (64 on mainland, and 89 counting Hong Kong), having leapfrogged European countries and Japan in the past decade. (BBC/Forbes)

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