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March 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM   |   Comments

Archbishop: New pope within 'a few days'

ROME, March 11 (UPI) -- The Catholic Church will have a pope within "a few days," predicted Archbishop of Vienna Christoph Schoenborn, a participant in the conclave that opens Tuesday.

Schoenborn said he's seen a spirit of camaraderie "I've rarely experienced" in the week before balloting begins to select a successor to Benedict XVI, who resigned last month, citing health and age, ANSA reported Monday.

"In a few days we will have the new Holy Father," Schoenborn said.

Benedict, 85, is now pope emeritus.

Last week, more than 150 cardinals participated in pre-conclave congregations -- discussions to allow them to get to know each other better and share ideas about what characteristics the next pope should have -- but only 115 will participate in the conclave because only those under age 80 are eligible to vote, ANSA said.

Monday was the last of the general congregation meetings before the conclave begins.


S. Korea's Yun: Situation becoming 'grave'

SEOUL, March 11 (UPI) -- Tensions between North and South Korea are creating a "very grave" security situation, new South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se said Monday.

Yun said his goal is to "turn this era of confrontation and mistrust into an era of trust and cooperation with North Korea," Yonhap reported.

"The security situation on the Korean Peninsula for now is very grave as the unpredictability surrounding North Korea is rising following its third nuclear test," Yun said in his first address since becoming foreign minister.

North Korea has taken a more strident position on the U.N. Security Council adoption of a new round of sanctions in response to the reclusive country's third nuclear test last month. North Korea also said it nullified the 1953 cease-fire to the Korean War and threatened a pre-emptive nuclear strike against South Korea and the United States.

North Korea cut off a Red Cross hotline with South Korea earlier Monday as South Korea and the United States began their annual joint military drills, Yonhap said. The two-week computer-simulated exercise, called Key Resolve mobilizes 10,000 South Korean forces and 3,500 U.S. military personnel.


Kwame Kilpatrick guilty of racketeering

DETROIT, March 11 (UPI) -- A federal jury found former Detroit Mayor Kwuame Kilpatrick and his friend guilty of federal racketeering and extortion charges Monday.

The jury, however, could not reach a decision on the racketeering charges against Kilpartrick's father, Bernard Kilpatrick, WXYZ-TV, Detroit, said.

Kilpatrick and his friend, Bobby Ferguson, could face up to 20 years in prison.

Attorneys for Kilpatrick and the co-defendants oversaw nearly 70 days of testimony from witnesses who claimed the former mayor and his allies used the mayor's office as a for-profit enterprise to benefit themselves, WWJ-TV, Detroit, reported.

After 14 full days of deliberation in the former mayor's federal corruption trial, the jury announced verdicts Monday morning. The jury reached a unanimous decision on 40 of 45 counts, WDIV-TV-TV, Detroit, said.

Several media outlets reported the verdict was reached Friday but the jury decided to go home for the weekend to see if any jurors changed their minds by Monday morning.

Judge Nancy Edmunds read the verdict, rather than the jury foreperson reading the verdict.


Hague calls reported deaths 'cold-blooded'

ABUJA, Nigeria, March 11 (UPI) -- The governments of Britain, Italy and Greece have condemned the reported killing of seven foreign hostages by Ansaru, a splinter group of Boko Haram in Nigeria.

"This is an unforgivable act of pure, cold-blooded murder for which there can be no excuse or justification," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement posted on the BBC's website Monday.

Nigerian rebels claimed Sunday they had killed seven foreign construction workers kidnapped nearly a month ago.

Hague confirmed that the hostages, construction workers employed by a Lebanese company Feb. 16, most likely were dead. A British, an Italian, a Greek and four Lebanese workers were captured during a raid on a construction site in Bauchi state in which one security guard died.

Hague said responsibility rests solely with the terrorists who are "likely to have murdered them [the hostages] in cold blood."

However Nigerian Interior Minister Aba Moro told BBC no confirmation of the purported killings has been received.


Sweden's Princess Lilian dead at 97

STOCKHOLM, Sweden, March 11 (UPI) -- Princess Lilian of Sweden, a Welsh miner's daughter who was born and raised in Wales, died at her Stockholm home, Villa Solbacken, officials said. She was 97.

The Local.se said she died Sunday after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Born Lilian May Davies in Swansea, Wales, she moved to London when she was 18, and worked as a fashion model and actress.

During World War II, she was employed in a factory that made radio antennae for the navy and later in a hospital tending to wounded soldiers.

She married British actor Ivan Craig in 1940, but he was shortly afterwards dispatched to fight in the desert war against German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Africa Corps, The Local said.

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