Nation/World Briefs

Rallies protest N. Dakota anti-abortion measures

BISMARCK, N.D. – More than 300 abortion-rights activists carried signs and chanted, “Veto! Veto! Veto!” in a demonstration Monday at the state Capitol protesting a package of measures that would give the state the toughest abortion restrictions in the nation.

The newly formed Stand Up For Women North Dakota planned rallies Monday in Fargo, Grand Forks and Minot, said Robin Nelson, an organizer of the demonstration.

North Dakota lawmakers moved Friday to outlaw abortion by passing a resolution defining life as starting at conception, essentially banning abortion in the state. The North Dakota House approved the bill 57-35 Friday, sending it to voters likely in November 2014. The Senate approved it last month.

Representatives also endorsed two other anti-abortion bills Friday. One would ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the disputed premise that fetuses feel pain at that point. Lawmakers also passed another measure that requires a doctor who performs abortions to be a physician with hospital-admitting privileges.

Kerry, Karzai display unity in Kabul meeting

KABUL – Eager to overcome a bout of bickering, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai made a show of unusual unity between their two nations Monday. The friendly display came as the U.S. military ceded control of its last detention facility in Afghanistan, ending a long irritant in relations.

Kerry arrived in the Afghan capital of Kabul on an unannounced visit amid concerns that Karzai may be jeopardizing progress in the war against extremism with anti-American rhetoric. After a private meeting, Kerry said he and Karzai were “on the same page” on security and reconciliation issues and brushed aside suggestions that relations were in peril.

Karzai infuriated U.S. officials earlier this month by accusing Washington of colluding with Taliban insurgents to keep Afghanistan weak even as the Obama administration pressed ahead with plans to hand off security responsibility to Afghan forces and end NATO’s combat mission by the end of next year.

$338M Powerball winner says he’ll help family

PASSAIC, N.J. – The winner of a $338 million Powerball jackpot told several media outlets Monday that his first priority will be helping his family.

Pedro Quezada, 44, entered Eagle Liquors store, where the ticket was sold, late Monday afternoon. The Passaic store owner ran Quezada’s ticket through the lottery machine to validate that it was a winner as a newspaper and television outlets recorded the moment.

Associated Press