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Morning Briefing: U.S. woman set to die in first execution since 2010

Kimberly McCarthy is shown in this undated Texas Department of Criminal Justice photograph. Kimberly McCarthy is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on January 29, 2013, the first woman to be put to death in more than two years, for the stabbing murder of her neighbor in 1997.

Texas Department of Criminal Justice/Handout/REUTERS

A summary of what you need to know today, compiled by The Globe's news desk on Jan. 29, 2013

Rare execution of woman set in Texas

The U.S. is set to execute its first female prisoner since 2010 today, in what is only the 13th time a woman has been put to death since capital punishment resumed in 1976. Kimberly McCarthy, 51, is set to die by lethal injection in Huntsville, Texas, for the gruesome murder of her 71-year-old neighbour in 1997. Women are responsible for about 10 per cent of homicides in the U.S. Men are much more likely to be put to death – more than 1,300 men have been executed in the US over that period.

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Canadian-made jet crashes in Kazakhstan

A Canadian-made jet crashed in Kazakhstan, killing all 22 people on board. The Bombardier Challenger CRJ-200 jet crashed in thick fog en route to the capital Almaty. Weather conditions are being blamed.

Egypt army chief warns of 'collapse'

In a sign of the deepening crisis in Egypt, the army chief warned today the latest bout of protests could lead to "the collapse of the state." General Abdel Fattah Sinsi, also defense minister, issued the dire warning after the fifth straight day of protests that have claimed more than 50 lives.

West gets deeper into Mali conflict

Western troops are getting deeper into the conflict in Mali. The UK said today it is willing to send 240 officers to Mali for training and offered to boost support to French troops already fighting an Islamist insurgency in the west African country. That comes as Ottawa confirms for the first time that Canadian troops – special forces – have already been deployed to Mali to protect Canadian diplomats there.

Reports of new atrocity surface in Syria

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Reports are surfacing of a mass execution in Syria – the bodies of nearly 70 young men and boys, shot once in the head or neck, discovered in a river near the city of Aleppo. According to rebels at the scene, 68 bodies had been dragged from the river and more were being recovered, suggesting the final body count could be higher.

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