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Philadelphia abortion doctor found guilty of first-degree murder

PHILADELPHIA — A Philadelphia abortion doctor was found guilty Monday of first-degree murder and could face execution in the deaths of three babies who authorities say were delivered alive and then killed with scissors at his grimy clinic, in a case that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over abortion.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell, 72, was cleared in the death of a fourth baby, who prosecutors say let out a soft whimper before he snipped its neck.

Gosnell was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the drug-overdose death of a patient who had undergone an abortion.

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North Korea states 'nuclear war is unavoidable' as it declares first target will be Japan

In a commentary carried by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the communist country lashed out at Tokyo's standing orders to destroy any missile heading toward Japan, threatening such actions will result in a nuclear attack against the island nation.

If Japan executes its threat to shoot down any North Korean missile, such a “provocative” intervention would see Tokyo — an enormous conurbation of 30 million people — “consumed in nuclear flames”, KCNA warned.

“Japan is always in the cross-hairs of our revolutionary army and if Japan makes a slightest move, the spark of war will touch Japan first,” the report added.

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Sex doll seized in St. John's child porn investigation

It's a first for police in Newfoundland and Labrador — a charge laid in relation to a disturbing item seized in a child pornography investigation.

Canada Border Services officers in Toronto intercepted a package Jan. 30 containing suspected child pornography. They discovered a sex doll, depicted as a child.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary executed a warrant and on Tuesday searched a home in St. John's. They arrested a 47 year-old man.

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PM Harper calls Thatcher 'a giant among leaders'

OTTAWA - Prime Minister Stephen Harper saluted former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as "a giant among leaders," after learning of her death Monday.

"While many in positions of power are defined by the times in which they govern, Margaret Thatcher had that rarest of abilities to herself personify and define the age in which she served," Harper said in a statement. "Indeed, with the success of her economic policies, she defined contemporary conservatism itself."

Harper also credits Thatcher with helping to end the Cold War by contributing to the fall of the Soviet Union.

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Argentine Jorge Bergoglio elected Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Argentine Jorge Bergoglio has been elected pope, the first ever from the Americas and the first from outside Europe in more than a millennium. He chose the name Pope Francis.

After announcing `'Habemus Papum" - `'We have a pope!" - a cardinal standing on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday revealed the identity of the new pontiff, using his Latin name. Bergoglio had reportedly finished second in the 2005 conclave that produced Benedict XVI - who last month became the first pope to resign in 600 years.

The 76-year-old archbishop of Buenos Aires has spent nearly his entire career at home in Argentina, overseeing churches and shoe-leather priests.

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UPDATE: Germany Warns That Banks In Cyprus May Remain Closed Permanently

ATMs in Cyprus were drained over the weekend, electronic transfers were halted, and riots ensued following a decision by European Union chiefs to raid private savings accounts to help pay for the country’s $13 billion bailout. It was believed that there were plans to stretch a bank holiday to at least one week, while the exact measures were decided upon. However, yesterday the Cypriot parliament rejected the scheme outright, leading many to speculate that this would be the start of something even worse.

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Surge in drug-resistant tuberculosis cases has affected both the rich and the poor

LONDON — On New Year’s Eve 2004, after months of losing weight and suffering fevers, night sweats and shortness of breath, student Anna Watterson was taken into hospital coughing up blood.

It was strange to be diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) — an ancient disease associated with poverty — especially since Watterson was a well-off trainee lawyer living in the affluent British capital of London. Yet it was also a relief, she says, finally to know what had been making her ill for so long.

But when Watterson’s infection refused to yield to the three-pronged antibiotic attack doctors prescribed to fight it, her relief turned to dread.

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‘Moment of explosion approaches’: North Korea moves missile with ‘considerable range’ to east coast

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has moved a missile with “considerable range” to its east coast, South Korea’s defense minister said Thursday, but he added that there are no signs that Pyongyang is preparing for a full-scale conflict.

The report came hours after North Korea’s military warned that it has been authorized to attack the U.S. using “smaller, lighter and diversified” nuclear weapons. It was the North’s latest war cry against America in recent weeks. The reference to smaller weapons could be a claim that Pyongyang has improved its nuclear technology. Or a bluff.

South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin said he did not know the reasons behind the North’s missile movement, and that it “could be for testing or drills.”

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Assad faces growing Western anger as Syrian forces block aid from entering defeated rebel city of Homs

BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faced growing Western anger Tuesday for preventing aid from entering a devastated district of Homs and over accusations of human rights abuses, including pictures said to show torture victims at a hospital in the city.

Dozens of men, women and children returned on foot to Baba Amr, state television said, passing bullet-pocked and damaged buildings, days after rebel fighters pulled out after a sustained and heavy military assault.

The Red Cross was awaiting approval to distribute aid to the devastated district which endured a month of siege.

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