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Morning Briefing: Kids in the U.S. eating fewer calories

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A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Feb. 21, 2013.

U.S. kids taking in fewer calories

A bit of good news in the battle of the bulge: children in the US are consuming fewer calories while adults are getting less of their daily intake from fast food. In a report in today's New York Times, the study shows a small, but welcome decline in caloric intake over the decade ending 2010 – 7 per cent for boys and 4 per cent for girls, encouraging news for a country where a third of the people are considered obese.

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SNC probe widens to Algeria

The probe into overseas activities by engineering giant SNC Lavalin has been widened to Algeria, a joint investigation by The Globe and Italy's Il Sole 24 Ore reveals. The investigation is focused on the activities of Farid Bedjaoui, a money manager hired to help secure contracts from Sonatrach, Algeria's state run oil company.

Detective in Pistorius case facing attempted murder charges

In yet another explosive development out of the Oscar Pistorius bail hearing, prosecutors revealed today that the lead detective in the case is facing attempted murder charges. Hilton Botha was charged after firing on a minibus carrying seven people, an incident that occured while he was chasing a murder suspect. The charges were initially dropped, but then reinstated shortly before Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day. Pistorius, who has been charged with premeditated murder, says he mistook her for a burglar. The court is expected to make a decision soon on whether the Olympic and Paralympic star will be free on bail pending trial.

Pipeline could save Quebec $3-billion a year

Quebec could save billions if a pipeline were built to bring cheaper western crude into the province. The report, by National Bank Financial, provided more fuel for those pushing for building capacity to bring cheaper oil from Alberta into Quebec, which currently imports from Europe and North Africa. There are two projects under consideration that could get oil flowing as soon as 2017.

Disgraced Chinese politician stages hunger strike

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Bo Xilai, the former rising political star in the China, isn't cooperating with investigators and has staged hunger strikes in prison, sources tell Reuters. It has been a year since Bo was ousted as party chief in Chongqing and put in prison following a blizzard of allegations. No charges have been announced or timing on when a trial may begin.

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