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Morning Briefing: John Kerry, meet the other John

In this Jan. 24, 2013 photo, Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., sits before the committee he has served on for 28 years and led for the past four as he seeks confirmation as U.S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Feb. 8, 2013.

John, meet John. Now about that pipeline

In his first summit with a foreign leader, freshly-minted U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet today with his Canadian counterpart John Baird. The talk will undoubtedly touch on matters of pressing international interest – the civil war in Syria in particular – but the more vexing issue will be the one closet to home – the Keystone pipeline. President Barack Obama delayed a decision on the pipeline ahead of last year's election and a decision is expected in the coming months.

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Thousands mourn slain Tunisian opposition leader

Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets to express their grief and anger as the funeral procession of slain opposition leader Chokri Belaid worked its ways through Tunis. Mourners shouted anti-Islamist slogans as crowds gathered around an army truck carrying the body of the secularist leader, shot dead outside his home Monday night. The killing has exacerbated tensions between Islamist and secularists in the wake of 2011 revolution that ousted the authoritarian regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Snow storm rips through Ontario, heading east

A massive snow storm that is hammering Ontario this morning is set to move east today potentially wreaking havoc on the east coast. Quebec, and Maritime provinces are expected to get up to 30 cm snow while the northeastern seaboard of the United States is bracing for an even bigger hit, with up to 60 centimetres of snow expected.

Senator Brazeau facing assault charges

Senator Patrick Brazeau – ejected from the Conservative caucus after being arrested Thursday – is facing charges of domestic and sexual assault. Mr. Brazeau, who spent the night in an Ottawa jail, is expected to make a court appearance this morning. His home was searched by police after they received a 911 call.

Nigeria vaccinators killed in attack

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Nine female polio vaccinators in Nigeria were shot dead in two separate attacks today, the latest in a series of deadly attacks against health care workers trying to eradicate the last pockets of the disease. The workers were killed by gunmen on motorcycles in attacks at two health clinics. The attacks come in wake of comments by a Islamic cleric who spoke out against the vaccinations. Vaccinators were targeted in a series of attack last year in Pakistan, where the Taliban have campaigned against the effort.

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