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NEWS CAPSULES

Around the world

STRIKE: Paris commuters walked to work, airports closed and children got a day off from school Tuesday as more than 5 million French government workers went on strike to protest a pay freeze. Trains, subways and buses stopped in France's biggest walkout since 1986, which included telephone, airline and power workers, letter carriers, teachers, hospital staff and weather forecasters. Striking workers staged demonstration across the country to protest the public sector pay freeze, part of the conservative government's effort to cut an annual budget deficit running at $64 billion.

SLAYINGS Gunmen shot and killed four prominent militants accused of terrorism Tuesday while they were leading police to a gang hideout in strife-torn Karachi, Pakistan, authorities said. This is the third time in two weeks that police suspects have been killed while in custody. The four men - including one of Pakistan's most wanted alleged criminals known only as Fahim Commando - had agreed to lead authorities to a hideout when they were cut down in a hail of gunfire.

RESIGNS: Guatemala's defense minister has abruptly resigned and a regional army commander has been ousted, days after soldiers killed 11 former refugees of the civil war. Monday's shakeup dealt a blow to the Guatemalan army, under increasing pressure to end its long history of human rights abuse even as the country prepares for a Nov. 12 presidential election.

TALKS: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak began talks on Tuesday with Syrian President Hafez al-Assad during a surprise visit to Damascus to discuss Middle East peace efforts. Mubarak's trip followed talks between Syrian Foreign Affairs Minister Farouq al-Shara and U.S. officials in Washington to try to push stalled Syrian-Israeli peace talks forward.

Across the nation

ATTACK: Six boys ranging in age from 10 to 17 have been charged with kicking a man to death as he waited for a ride to work in Kansas City, Mo. The youngsters allegedly took turns kicking Jerry Hoshor, 46, according to court records released Monday. He was unconscious during most of the attack and died a few hours after he was taken to the hospital. Family members said Hoshor caught a ride to work at a packaging company every night at the corner where he was killed.

HEIST: Three masked bandits with machine guns stole millions of dollars worth of jewelry in the second heist within three days in Manhattan's Diamond District. The store owners, a husband and wife, were handcuffed to a door handle, but no one was injured after the thieves burst in after closing and scooped up the jewelry Monday. They fled through a window, leaving behind a Halloween mask and a wig.

MARINE: An 18-year-old Marine died after collapsing during a 3-mile run at the Parris Island training center in Beaufort, S.C. Pvt. Rodney P. Oge of Miami died at a hospital Sunday two days after collapsing on the course with an apparent heart attack, Maj. Carol McBride said in a statement.