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PETER SUTHERLAND will head the World Trade Organization for its first 10 weeks while the search continues for a permanent director-general, trade officials said Wednesday . . . TWO EARTHQUAKES jolted northeastern Japan early Wednesday, the Meteorological Agency said. There were no reports of damage or injuries . . . FIGHTING to remain as Italian premier, Silvio Berlusconi pushed Wednesday for early elections and gave no indication he would resign, as some members of his government had predicted . . . TYPHOON AXEL slammed into the central Philippines Wednesday, dumping heavy rain and forcing flights filled with Christmas revelers to be diverted.

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