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UN Council endorses 55-pt road map to end war in Libya
AP, United Nations
The U.N. Security Council endorsed a 55-point road map for ending the war in Libya on Wednesday and condemned the recent increase in violence in the oil-rich North African country.
The vote on the British-drafted resolution was 14-0, with Russia abstaining even though Russian President Vladimir Putin was one of the 12 leaders who agreed to the plan at a conference in Berlin on Jan. 19.

Iowa Democratic Party chief resigns after caucus mess
AFP, Washington
The chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party resigned Wednesday after the state's chaotic first-in-the-nation presidential nomination contest, calling the technology problems and questionable accuracy of the process "unacceptable."
Pete Buttigieg ultimately won the Iowa caucuses two weeks ago, in a narrow victory over Bernie Sanders. But the delayed results were marred by multiple technical issues, and the Sanders campaign has asked for a "recanvassing" check of the vote.

Merkel rival Merz in bid to succeed her as German Chancellor
AFP, Berlin
 Friedrich Merz, a longtime rival of Angela Merkel within the ruling CDU party, is hoping to replace her as German chancellor, local media reported Wednesday.
Merz, who wants to shift the centre-right party further to the right, is throwing his hat into the ring after Merkel's chosen successor, CDU leader Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, gave up her leadership ambitions on Monday in a deepening party crisis over ties between the centre and far right.

Road mishap claims 14 lives in north India
Xinhua, New Delhi
At least 14 people died and more than 30 injured in a road mishap in India's northern state of Uttar Pradesh late on Wednesday night, confirmed local Superintendent of Police (SP) Sachindra Patel to Xinhua over phone on Thursday morning.

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