Reuters World News Highlights 1000 GMT, Nov 16

Reuters Middle East

GAZA - Egypt opened a tiny window to emergency peace

diplomacy in Gaza on Friday, but hopes for even a brief

ceasefire while its prime minister was inside the bombarded

enclave to talk to leaders of the Islamist Hamas movement were

immediately dashed.

- - - -

TOKYO - Japan dissolved parliament's lower house on Friday

for a Dec. 16 election that is likely to return the

long-dominant Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to power with a

conservative former prime minister at the helm.

- - - -

PARIS - French officials angrily rejected a charge by

Britain's The Economist weekly on Friday that France was the

"time-bomb at the heart of Europe", accusing the magazine of

sensationalist journalism.

- - - -

MOSCOW - German Chancellor Angela Merkel will complain to

President Vladimir Putin on Friday about a crackdown on

political freedoms in Russia at talks likely to deepen a chill

between the two big European powers.

- - - -

LONDON - Britain needs more details from the fledgling Syria

opposition coalition before it can formally recognise the group,

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday ahead of

talks with Syrian opposition officials.

- - - -

NEW ORLEANS/WASHINGTON - BP Plc will pay $4.5 billion in

penalties and plead guilty to criminal misconduct in the

Deepwater Horizon disaster, which caused the worst U.S. offshore

oil spill ever.

- - - -

WASHINGTON - As President Barack Obama and congressional

leaders prepared for budget and tax talks on Friday aimed at

preventing the U.S. economy from falling back into recession, a

top Republican vowed to overhaul the U.S. tax code next year.

- - - -

WASHINGTON - Classified material kept by the woman who

conducted an affair with former CIA Director David Petraeus

predates their liaison and does not come from the spy agency,

sources briefed on the investigation told Reuters on Thursday.

- - - -

SYDNEY - Australia's first outbreak of a highly pathogenic

bird flu virus in 15 years should be contained by a cull of

50,000 chickens, authorities said on Friday, although they do

not know what caused the case at an egg farm in New South Wales

state.

- - - -