Reuters World News Highlights at 1715 GMT, Dec 03

TOP STORIES

-----------

JERUSALEM - Israel rejected concerted criticism from Europe

on Monday over Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision to

expand settlement building after the United Nations' de facto

recognition of Palestinian statehood.

- - - -

LONDON - Britain's Prince William and his wife Catherine are

expecting a baby, destined to be the country's future monarch,

the prince's office said on Monday.

- - - -

BEIRUT - Syria said on Monday it would not use chemical

weapons against its own people after the United States warned it

would take action against any such escalation.

- - - -

NEW YORK/LONDON - Chinese manufacturing output grew last

month for the first time in more than a year but a surprise

contraction in U.S. factory activity tempered optimism about the

health of the world economy on Monday.

- - - -

MOSCOW/BEIJING - Russia and China urged North Korea on

Monday not to go ahead with a plan for its second rocket launch

of 2012, with Moscow saying any such move would violate

restrictions imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

- - - -

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday remained

silent about whether it will enter the legal fray over same-sex

marriage a n d agree to hear one of several pending appeals on

the issue.

- - - -

ZURICH - Swiss bank UBS AG is expected to pay more than $450

million to U.S. and British authorities to settle claims some of

its employees submitted false Libor rates, the New York Times

reported.

- - - -

KABUL - An Afghan cabinet minister and one-time warlord

called on Monday on former anti-Soviet guerrillas to regroup and

rearm to prevent a slide into civil war once most foreign forces

leave the country by the end of 2014.

- - - -

GOMA - Government forces re-established control over

Democratic Republic of Congo's eastern city of Goma on Monday

after rebels withdrew, but a senior official said the insurgents

were only a few kilometres away and still posed a threat.

- - - -

LONDON - A committee of UK lawmakers has called on

government to crack down on multinational companies that make

substantial sales in Britain but pay little tax here, echoing

demands from leaders across Europe for measures to tackle

corporate tax avoidance.

- - - -

LONDON - A British serious crime unit has taken over an

investigation into the mysterious death of a Russian

anti-corruption whistleblower, police said on Monday, in a move

local media said suggested it might have been a murder.

- - - -

MANILA - Philippine President Benigno Aquino told people on

Monday to take storm warnings seriously as authorities evacuated

thousands of residents of coastal and mountain regions hours

before the biggest typhoon this year was due to hit.

- - - -

VATICAN CITY - The secret's out. Pope Benedict's new handle

on Twitter will be @pontifex, beating out other contenders that

had been considered to showcase the thoughts of one of the

world's most visible leaders.

Most Popular in Middle East