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While U Slept. The Big 5 Overnight Stories. Thursday, March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010

ROCKET FROM GAZA KILLS MAN IN ISRAEL, AS EU OFFICIAL MAKES RARE TRIP TO SEALED OFF ZONE Victim appears to be farm worker from Thailand in first deadly rocket attack in months. Strike comes as EU’s new foreign policy chief becomes one of the most senior diplomats to visit Hamas-led Gaza Strip. (AP)

NORTH KOREA EXECUTES FINANCE OFFICIAL BLAMED FOR ECONOMIC WOES First reports of firing squad execution Sunday of a senior government official who introduced currency reforms that are blamed for deepening economic troubles. Seen by observers as classic scapegoat, the North Korea government referred to Pak Nam-gi as a conspiring “son of a bourgeois.” (Guardian)

WORKING PHONES INTO THE NIGHT, WHITE HOUSE GAINING ON HEALTH CARE REFORM Momentum gathers for sweeping Obama reform after skeptical Democratic House members from both liberal and conservative wings of party signal their support. White House and Congressional leaders worked into early hours Thursday in what they acknowledge will be a “cliffhanger” vote. (LATimes)

SENIOR AL QAEDA FIGURE CONFIRMED AMONG DEAD IN PAKISTAN STRIKE LAST WEEK US anti-terror official confirms that among victims of a recent strike in Pakistan was Hussein al-Yemeni, an explosives expert believed to be key in December suicide attack that killed seven CIA agents in Afghanistan. (AFP)

US LOBBYING HARD FOR CHINESE TO LET YUAN RISE U.S. Ambassador Jon Huntsman acknowledges pressuring Chinese counterparts to allow their currency to rise. Beijing reportedly sounding out its exporters to see if they could cope with a stronger yuan. (Reuters)

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