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  |   Feb. 11, 2013 at 4:59 PM
Pope Benedict XVI to resign, cites health

VATICAN CITY, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Pope Benedict XVI said Monday he will resign Feb. 28 because his health forced him "to recognize my incapacity" in leading the Catholic Church.

"After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry," Benedict, 85, who was elected pope April 19, 2005, said in a statement.

Benedict said he wanted to "devotedly serve the holy church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer."

The pope's announcement caught church officials by surprise, ANSA reported.

Italian Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, said Benedict's decision was a "bolt out of the blue."

U.S. President Obama said he and his wife, Michelle, "wish to extend our appreciation and prayers to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI" on behalf of all Americans.

Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive officer the Ramadhan Foundation in Manchester, England, said Benedict's papacy would be remembered by the Muslim world for his "his distortion and attack on Islam" that "tarnished" the work of his predecessor, Pope John Paul II.


Gunman kills 2, wounds 2 before dying

WILMINGTON, Del., Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Two women were killed and two police officers were wounded Monday when a gunman opened fire at a New Castle County Courthouse in Wilmington, Del., police said.

Police said the shooter, who had yet to be identified, also died, the Wilmington News Journal reported.

Among the dead is the shooter's wife, KYW-TV, Philadelphia, reported.

Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams said the suspect was estranged from his wife, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia, reported.

It wasn't clear whether the gunman, said to be in either his late 20s or early 30s, was killed by Capitol Police officers or killed himself, Shavack said.

Delaware State Police Sgt. Paul Shavack called the situation "dynamic" and police were sweeping the courthouse room by room.

The injured officers were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, officials said.


Hacking said major threat to U.S. economy

WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Cyberespionage campaigns against the United States represent a massive and sustained threat to the nation's economy, a new intelligence assessment says.

Individuals familiar with the classified report say the National Intelligence Estimate names China as the prime culprit, The Washington Post reported Sunday.

China has denied such allegations. Russia, Israel and France are also considered by the report as among the countries engaged in trying to steal economic secrets, but not on the same scale as China.

Once considered a threat primarily to U.S. military and intelligence agencies, cyberespionage is now seen as a major threat to U.S. industry. In the past five years, hacking has been experienced by a wide range of industries, including energy, finance, information technology, aerospace and automotive.

Outside experts estimate the financial impact has been in the tens of billions of dollars.


Protests in Egypt mark Mubarak's ouster

CAIRO, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Marches protesting the Egyptian government marked the second anniversary of the ouster of former President Hosni Mubarak.

Dozens of people marched from Shubra district in Cairo to downtown Tahrir Square Monday, chanting slogans opposing President Mohamed Morsi, the newspaper al-Masry al-Youm reported.

Thirteen unified opposition parties accuse Morsi's regime of repression and brutality and are seeking the "downfall of the regime," officials told the news website Ahram Online.

Khaled Telima, a member of the Popular Current party, told the newspaper Egypt under Morsi has no protection of freedoms or human rights, or sound economic policies.

"Two years after the first victory of the revolution, Egypt's first democratically elected president has set a record for lying and broken promises. Blood was shed yet again and martyrs fell," said a statement from the political parties.


Pakistan test fires nuke-capable missiles

ISLAMABAD, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- Pakistan has successfully test fired short-range missiles capable of carrying nuclear warheads, government officials said Monday.

Two missiles were launched in succession from a tube launcher, the official government news agency the Associated Press of Pakistan reported.

The surface-to-surface Harf IX missiles have a range of about 37 miles and are capable of "high accuracy" against "all known" anti-missile systems, officials said.

The missiles can be maneuvered in flight.

The test was witnessed by Gen. Khalid Shameem Wynne, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee, other senior military officers, and scientists and engineers of strategic organizations.


NATO head: No Syrian intervention coming

BRUSSELS, Feb. 11 (UPI) -- NATO's secretary general said the military alliance will not become involved in Syria's civil war unless member-state Turkey is attacked.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen of Belgium told EUobserver it wasn't the purpose of the trans-Atlantic defense alliance to solve every military crisis in the world.

"NATO cannot act as the world's policeman. We cannot travel from country to country to solve every conflict. It's simply not possible," he said. "The essence of being a defense alliance is that we are here to ensure the territorial defense of our member states."

As such, NATO recently installed a Patriot missile defense system in Turkey along the Syrian border to protect against rocket attacks after a spate of explosions perpetrated by the embattled regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Rasmussen said international military intervention in Syria's 2-year-old conflict would have complicated matters, not made them better.

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