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Greek government asks for 3-year aid program, races to submit suitable reforms proposal

ATHENS, Greece — Greece requested a new three-year rescue program from its European partners on Wednesday and rushed to complete a detailed plan of economic reforms in time to avoid the country’s descent into financial chaos.

With the banking system teetering on the edge of collapse, the government sought to reassure its European creditors that it would enact tax and pension reforms quickly in exchange for loans from Europe’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism. READ

U.S. Ebola patient told hospital he was from Liberia, but information was not widely shared

The first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States told health care workers on his initial hospital visit that he had recently been in an area affected by the deadly disease, but that information was not widely shared, a hospital official said Wednesday. READ

Canadian researcher Stephen Scherer among those predicted to win Nobel Prize

TORONTO — A Canadian researcher is being touted as a potential Nobel Prize winner by an organization that predicts which scientists are most likely to take home one of the coveted awards. READ

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 likely downed by “high energy objects” from outside

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was likely struck by multiple “high-energy objects from outside the aircraft,” causing it to break up over eastern Ukraine, a preliminary report into the deadly aviation disaster concluded Tuesday. READ

Canadian dating site for married people seeking affairs sues South Korea

A dating website for married people seeking affairs is suing the government of South Korea after being blocked in that country over what it says are false allegations of illegal activity. READ

West Africa’s caseload tops all previous outbreaks combined

MONROVIA, Liberia — Riot police and soldiers acting on their president’s orders used scrap wood and barbed wire to seal off 50,000 people inside their Liberian slum Wednesday, trying to contain the Ebola outbreak that has killed 1,350 people and counting across West Africa. Hundreds of slum residents clashed with the gunmen, furious at being blamed and isolated by a government that has failed to quickly collect dead bodies from the streets. READ

Ukraine says Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 295 people is shot down over eastern Ukraine

A Malaysia Airlines passenger plane carrying 295 people was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday, Ukrainian officials said, and both the government and the pro-Russia separatists fighting in the region denied any responsibility for downing the aircraft. READ

Iraq’s al-Maliki extends reconciliatory rhetoric to rival, but no solid measures

BAGHDAD — Iraqi forces and Sunni militants battled fiercely for control of the nation’s largest oil refinery on Wednesday as Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki went on a diplomatic offensive, reaching out in a televised address to try to regain support from the nation’s disaffected Sunnis and Kurds. READ

’Hunger Games’ salute flashed in protest in Thailand; arrests threatened

The three-finger salute from the Hollywood movie “The Hunger Games” is being used as a real symbol of resistance in Thailand. Protesters against the military coup are flashing the gesture as a silent act of rebellion, and they’re being threatened with arrest if they ignore warnings to stop. READ

At 9-11 museum dedication, Obama says no act of terror can match strength, character of the US

President Barack Obama praised the new Sept. 11 museum on Thursday as “a sacred place of healing and of hope” that captures both the story and the spirit of heroism that followed the attacks. READ

Ukraine warily begins talks on ending crisis — but its pro-Russia foes aren’t invited

European-backed peace talks on ending Ukraine’s crisis began with little promise Wednesday when pro-Russian insurgents — who weren’t even invited to the session — demanded that the Kyiv government recognize their sovereignty. READ

Speech to deliver split message

WASHINGTON — Newly repackaged, President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address will deliver familiar content along with some targeted first-time initiatives that both test and illustrate the limits of divided government in an election year. READ

Santorum wins Louisiana

WASHINGTON — Rick Santorum vowed to remain in the race after turning in an easy victory in the Louisiana primary, even though he still badly trails front-runner Mitt Romney and faces a nearly impossible task to win enough delegates to secure the Republican presidential nomination. READ

North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Il has died

Kim Jong Il, North Korea’s mercurial and enigmatic leader whose iron rule and nuclear ambitions for his isolated communist nation dominated world security fears for more than a decade, has died. He was 69. READ

Russian oil rig capsizes, killing 4

Rescue workers are searching for 49 men in freezing, remote waters off Russia’s east coast after their oil rig capsized and sank amid fierce storms. READ

Egypt’s military, revolutionaries compete for public support

Egypt’s ruling military and the revolutionaries who demand they immediately step down battled for a third day in the streets on Sunday — and competed fiercely for the support of a broader public that has grown tired of turmoil since the fall of Hosni Mubarak 10 months ago. READ

Lost of American troops leave Iraq

The last U.S. soldiers rolled out of Iraq across the border into neighbouring Kuwait at daybreak Sunday, whooping, fist bumping and hugging each other in a burst of joy and relief. READ

Man charged with setting NY woman on fire says he was mad over $2,000 debt

As Deloris Gillespie went up the elevator to her fifth-floor Brooklyn apartment, carrying groceries, her killer was waiting. Though no one may have seen him, he had been in the building long enough for neighbours to have smelled something odd. READ

Former French leader Jacques Chirac convicted of corruption for his Paris mayor days

PARIS — As French president, Jacques Chirac was called all sorts of names, not the least for his vociferous opposition to the U.S.-led war in Iraq. Now, he has a moniker that will stick: Convicted criminal. READ

U.S. investigation finds sheriff’s office violated civil rights laws

PHOENIX — The U.S. government said Thursday that the man who called himself the toughest sheriff in America ran an office that has committed wide-ranging civil rights violations against Latinos, including a pattern of racial profiling and heavy-handed immigration patrols based on racially charged complaints. READ

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