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/ Source: Reuters

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TOP STORIES

Afghans seek control of security by 2014

KABUL - Afghans want responsibility for the country's security by 2014, President Hamid Karzai told an international donors' conference, appealing for more control of $13 billion earmarked for development (AFGHANISTAN-CONFERENCE/ (UPDATE 2) expect by 0700, pix, tv, by Jonathon Burch, 750 words)

+ See also:

- AFGHANISTAN-OUTPOST/SNIPER, moved, pix, by Rob Taylor, 500 words

- AFGHANISTAN-CONFERENCE/ (FACTBOX), moved, 450 words

Obama, Cameron to hold talks clouded by BP concerns

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron will hold talks overshadowed by controversy over BP Plc that could test the vaunted "special relationship" between their countries (BRITAIN-USA/ (PIX) moved, by Matt Spetalnick, 800 words)

BP to continue test, seepage unrelated to well

HOUSTON/LONDON - BP Plc can keep its blown-out Gulf of Mexico well capped for at least another day, after it was determined that nearby seepage was not related to the leak, a U.S. official says (OIL-SPILL/ (WRAPUP 9), moved, pix, tv, graphic, by Kristen Hays and Tom Bergin, 850 words)

+ See also:

- OIL-SPILL/HEARING, moved, by Mary Rickard, 550 words

Gates, Clinton to visit Korean DMZ on high-profile tour

CAMP CASEY, South Korea - U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) that divides the Korean peninsula on a high-profile tour of its ally locked in a feud with the North. (KOREA-NORTH/ GATES (UPDATE 1) moved, pix, by Phil Stewart, 600 words)

ASIA

China downcast on exports as EU debt woes bite

BEIJING - China strikes a gloomy note about its export prospects, warning in particular that belt-tightening by deeply indebted European Union governments would dampen demand for the country's goods( CHINA-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), moved, by Zhou Xin and Ben Blanchard, 900 words)

Japan aims to keep spending, bond caps in 2011/12

TOKYO - Japan's government says it will stick to caps on spending and new bond issuance in next year's budget, although meeting the targets could be tough given rising social welfare costs and wounded political leadership (JAPAN-ECONOMY/ (WRAPUP 1), expect by 0600, pix, tv, graphic, by Rie Ishiguro and Leika Kihara, 750 words)

Thai govt lifts emergency in more provinces

BANGKOK - Thailand's government said it was lifting a state of emergency in three provinces but it would remain in force in 16 others including Bangkok, after being imposed in April to help authorities cope with unrest (THAILAND-POLITICS/ UPDATE 1, moved, 400 words)

AMERICAS

U.S. troops to arrive at Mexico border Aug. 1

WASHINGTON - U.S. National Guard troops will begin arriving along the border with Mexico on Aug. 1 to bolster security as the Obama administration tries to stem the flow of illegal immigrants, weapons and narcotics, officials say (IMMIGRATION-USA/ARIZONA (UPDATE 2), moved, by Jeremy Pelofsky, 600 words)

Brazil's Serra links ruling party to FARC rebels

BRASILIA - Leading opposition candidate in October's presidential election, Jose Serra, accuses Brazil's ruling party of links to Colombia's Marxist rebel group FARC (BRAZIL-ELECTION, moved, by Raymond Colitt and Natuza Nery, 450 words

Gay-lesbian group overcomes opposition at UN

UNITED NATIONS - The United Nations accredits a major gay and lesbian organization that Egypt, Russia and others had tried to keep out as a group permitted to lobby at the world body (UN-GAYS/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 375 words)

HEALTH

AIDS gel with Gilead drug protects women in study

VIENNA - A gel containing a prescription drug can sharply reduce HIV infections in women, a study described as groundbreaking by the World Health Organisation shows (AIDS/GEL (UPDATE 3), moved, 700 words)

Poverty-stricken U.S. cities have HIV epidemics

VIENNA - Many low-income urban areas in the United States have epidemics of HIV, with 2.1 percent of heterosexuals in poverty-stricken urban areas infected with the incurable AIDS virus, U.S. scientists say (AIDS/USA, moved, by Kate Kelland, 400 words)