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Doctors successfully separate conjoined twin girls

SANTIAGO | Chilean doctors successfully separated conjoined twin girls in a marathon 20-hour surgery, saying Wednesday that the operation went extremely well despite challenges.

The 10-month-old twins Maria Paz and Maria Jose lost a good deal of blood but were in stable condition and recovering in the intensive care unit at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital, chief surgeon Francisco Ossandon said.

Parents Jessica Navarrete and Roberto Paredes kept an anxious vigil at the hospital in Santiago as doctors separated the twins at the thorax, stomach and pelvis. It was the seventh and most complex operation yet for the twins.


Prime minister vows crackdown on Jewish extremists

JERUSALEM | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday ordered a crackdown on Jewish extremists believed to be responsible for a wave of violence and vandalism against Israeli soldiers and Muslim mosques.

He said that he had accepted recommendations made by Cabinet ministers to stop the disturbances. The measures grant soldiers the ability to make arrests, ban extremists from contentious areas and enable rioters to be tried in military courts.

Earlier Wednesday, Israeli police arrested six suspected Jewish extremists in a raid on a Jerusalem apartment. The crackdown came hours after arsonists torched a Jerusalem mosque in an overnight attack.


Drone spy missions will continue, Panetta pledges

KABUL | Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said Wednesday that the United States will continue to conduct intelligence operations from Afghanistan like the recent mission that led to the loss of a drone over Iran.

Standing with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Mr. Panetta provided a cryptic response to questions about the lost drone, which has exposed details of the little-known U.S. intelligence and surveillance efforts aimed at Iran.

The Pentagon chief and former CIA head left little doubt that the United States finds Afghanistan a useful place from which to spy on its neighbor and intends to keep at it. The operations benefit both the United States and Afghanistan, Mr. Panetta said.

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