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Morning Briefing: Thousands to celebrate Stompin’ Tom Connors’ life

Stompin' Tom Connors planned the ‘celebration of life’ before he died, even compiling a wish list of performers and speakers.

Erik Christensen/The Globe and Mail

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on March 13, 2013.

Memorial for Stompin' Tom Connors

Stompin' Tom Connors will be remembered tonight at a memorial in Peterborough, Ont. The celebrated Canadian troubadour helped plan the tribute, which will feature remembrances from former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson and Ken Dryden, the former Liberal MP and Montreal Canadiens goalie who remembered Stompin' Tom in this piece for The Globe.

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No pope yet as conclave continues

The Roman Catholic Church's 115 voting-age cardinals are scheduled to hold two more votes today in their efforts to choose the next pope. The second round of voting this morning proved inconclusive, and a telltale plume of black smoke emerged from the Sistine Chapel's chimney. A new pope must capture a two-thirds majority, or 77 votes. For up-to-the-minute developments, follow Eric Reguly, The Globe's Rome correspondent, on Twitter @ereguly.

Canadian takes over the International Space Station

Astronaut Chris Hadfield takes over command of the International Space Station today, becoming the first Canadian ever to lead such a mission. The changeover is scheduled to take place at 5:10 p.m. EDT, when a ceremonial bell will ring. "I have devoted pretty much my whole adult life … to getting to this position where someone would trust me to command what is, in effect, the world's spaceship," he told The Globe and Mail before he left for the five-month mission in December.

North Korea attacks South Korean leader's skirt

Amid a continuing torrent of rhetoric threatening nuclear war, the body controlling North Korea's military today complained about the "venomous swish" of the skirt of South Korea's president, The Associated Press reports. Despite the swipe, President Park Geun-hye is continuing to reach out to her North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong-un, and to send the country humanitarian aid. Despite North Korea's threats, however, a U.S. research institute says satellite imagery shows no sign the country is readying another long-range rocket launch or another nuclear test.

Saudi Arabia executes seven men

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Despite pleas for clemency, Saudi Arabia today beheaded seven men convicted of theft, looting and armed robbery, The Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, Human Rights Watch called for the sentences to be cancelled because the men were juveniles at the time of their arrests in 2006.

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