World briefs: 2nd conviction for Berlusconi

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ROME -- Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lashed at magistrates Thursday, after earning his second conviction in five months: a one-year jail term for leaking information from a judicial inquiry to damage a political rival.

In October, Berlusconi was sentenced to four years for tax fraud. He did not go to prison because he appealed, and the same is likely to happen with his latest case. Furthermore, the new charges will be dropped in July or August because of the statute of limitations.

Berlusconi was found guilty of passing to his brother Paolo, owner of the Il Giornale newspaper, illegally-sourced wiretaps of former center-left leader Piero Fassino discussing with the head of the Unipol insurance group a takeover bid on Antonveneta bank.

Kenya race tightens

NAIROBI, Kenya -- Kenya's presidential race tightened late Thursday as new results pushed the leading candidate below the crucial 50 percent mark needed to win outright.

A final result was expected today, but the close race and a troubled vote count are sparking fears of the kind of violence that ripped through the country after its last national election.

Tensions rose as the political coalition led by Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga, currently running in second, alleged that some vote results have been doctored and called for a stop to a tallying process it said "lacked integrity."

Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta had a small lead over Mr. Odinga as of late Thursday.

Dancer regrets attack

MOSCOW -- A leading Bolshoi dancer testified that he gave his blessing to an attack on the ballet's artistic director, but never imagined that the assailant would go as far as to throw acid in his face.

The arrest and confessions of Pavel Dmitrichenko, 29, has dealt a painful blow to the theater's reputation and left many members of the company bewildered and incredulous.

Sergei Filin, 42, suffered severe burns to his face and eyes in the Jan. 17 attack. He has undergone a series of operations aimed at saving his sight.

It's going to get warmer

LOS ANGELES -- In the last 11,300 years, humans have endured a planet warmer than today's. That will no longer be true 87 years from now, according to scientists who have conducted a comprehensive analysis of the planet's climate history since the world's ice sheets began their most recent retreat from North America and Europe.

In a study in the journal Science, researchers used eight indirect temperature indicators -- such as pollen and shells from marine organisms -- to chart long-term global warming and cooling trends. The research team concluded that temperatures in the last decade have not exceeded the steamiest periods from thousands of years ago. However, if current warming trends hold, those records will be broken by the end of the century.

Polar bear ban rejected

BANGKOK -- A proposal to ban international trade in polar bear parts was rejected Thursday at a major conference on wildlife trade.

The question of whether to upgrade the protective status of polar bears was a leading subject of debate by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.

The polar bear proposal was put forward by the United States, but opposed by Canada, Greenland, and Norway, all of which have polar bear populations. A compromise offered by the European Union, which would regulate the trade with export quotas and a tagging system rather than banning it entirely, also was rejected by the convention.

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