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  |   Dec. 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM
Newtown, Conn., shooting victims honored

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 21 (UPI) -- The nation observed a moment of silence Friday to honor the victims of the Newtown, Conn., mass killing a week ago in which 27 people were fatally shot.

Gunman Adam Lanza burst into Sandy Hook Elementary School and opened fire, killing 20 children and six adults before killing himself. He had killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, before going to the school.

"20 beautiful children & 6 remarkable adults. Together, we will carry on & make our country worthy of their memory. -bo," President Barack Obama tweeted.

To mark the observance, bells on the National Cathedral and other churches across the country, tolled 26 times.

The National Rifle Association was expected to break its silence amid calls for stricter gun regulations following the shooting, CNN reported.

Three more victims were to be buried Friday. Lanza's mother was interred Thursday while Lanza's burial plans have not been finalized, CNN said.


Violence erupts at rally in Egypt

ALEXANDRIA, Egypt, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- An Islamic rally outside a mosque in Alexandria, Egypt, turned violent Friday and police used tear gas to break up rival groups. Some people were injured.

Security forces took the action to control crowds at the Qaed Ibrahim Mosque as separate groups of protesters threw stones during a demonstration called to "defend [Islamic] scholars and mosques" and to call for Sharia law, Ahram Online reported.

Sharia is the legal code of Islam.

Police said people were injured but did not provide further details.

Organizers had set up stages and were leading religious chants before violence erupted, Ahram Online reported.

"The people want the implementation of God's Sharia," the crowds changed. "We sacrifice our soul and our blood for Islam."

The demonstrations and fighting occurred the day before the second and final phase of voting -- in 17 governorates -- on Egypt's controversial draft constitution.


Pakistani clerics condemn polio attacks

PESHAWAR, Pakistan, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- An alliance of Pakistani clerics is protesting the violence against U.N. anti-polio volunteers, nine of whom have been slain.

The United Nations suspended the work Wednesday after eight immunization workers will killed in three days. A ninth victim died Thursday after he was shot in the head.

Voice of America said most of the victims have been women.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but government officials in Peshawar said they believe a Taliban faction is responsible for at least some of them.

VOA said the Taliban have blocked similar programs in the past and have said polio vaccination efforts can act as a cover for spying.

The New York Times said Pakistan is one of three countries where the disease is still endemic.

Pakistan reported 198 new infections last year, the highest rate in the world.


Weather, fires delay trains in London

LONDON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Flooding and electrical fires have caused delays on rail routes in London and some people had to be rescued from stranded trains, authorities said.

The Environment Agency issued more than 240 flood alerts and more than 65 flood warnings the BBC reported.

National Rail said train service was canceled between Ellesmere Port and Hooton and Crewe and Chester because of weather conditions.

Electrical cable fires caused delays of trains from Gatwick to Brighton and Paddington to Heathrow, officials said.

Gatwick Express passengers were told to expect delays of about 90 minutes in train service.


Report: Olympian says she was a prostitute

LAS VEGAS, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton was a Las Vegas prostitute for the past year and said it was "a huge mistake," thesmokinggun.com reported.

Favor Hamilton, 44, said her husband knew about her secret life as a call girl with an escort service, the report said.

"I take full responsibility for my mistakes. I'm not the victim and I'm not going that route. I'm owning up to what I did. I would not blame anybody except myself," she said. "Everybody in this world makes mistakes. I made a huge mistake. Huge."

The website published the story Thursday.

The New York Times reported Favor Hamilton was getting paid up to $600 an hour.

The Times said she worked under a fake name, Kelly Lundy, but she said she also revealed her true identity to some clients.

Favor Hamilton competed in the Olympics as a distance runner in 1992, 1996 and 2000.

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