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Greater support for legal abortion...Britain sends advisers to Helmand battle...Migrant milestone

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 22, 2015 at 2:50 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — A new AP-GfK poll finds increased support for legal abortion in the U.S., with Republicans still deeply divided. Overall, nearly six in 10 Americans — 58 percent — now think abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 51 percent in January. Overall GOP support for legal abortion edged up to 40 percent, from 35 percent. But seven in 10 conservative Republicans oppose most abortions while six in 10 moderate and liberal Republicans say the opposite.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The fight for a strategic district in southern Afghanistan's Helmand province is escalating with the addition of coalition troops. Britain's Ministry of Defense says a small number of British troops will be sent in to act as advisers to government forces battling the Taliban.

GENEVA (AP) — A milestone has been reached in the surge of refugees and other migrants streaming into Europe. The International Organization for Migration says the number has now topped one million people trying to escape the fallout of war, poverty and persecution in Africa and the Middle East. The number marks more than a four-fold increase from last year.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say a Palestinian family escaped unharmed after suspected Jewish extremists fired a pair of tear gas canisters into their home and scrawled graffiti on the house during the attack. Jewish extremists have for years vandalized or set fire to Palestinian property, as well as mosques, churches, the offices of dovish Israeli groups and even military bases. The extremists think the government favors the Palestinians. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged "zero tolerance."

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A now 16-year-old boy convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher isn't expected to attend today as lawyers for both sides meet with a judge to discuss the sentence and a sentencing date. Philip Chism faces life in prison in the 2013 death of Danvers High School teacher Colleen Ritzer.

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The Associated Press

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