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In brief

Admiring art in Paris A tourist looks at the statue ‘May’ from Sunrise East, one of 12 pieces by artist Ugo Rondinone on display in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, on Thursday.

AP photo
WASHINGTON Warming belief slipping

The number of Americans who believe there is solid evidence the Earth is warming because of pollution is at its lowest point in three years, according to a survey released Thursday.

The poll of 1,500 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that only 57 percent believe there is strong scientific evidence the Earth has gotten hotter over the past few decades, and as a result, people are viewing the situation as less serious. That’s down from 77 percent in 2006, and 71 percent in April 2008.

The steepest drop occurred during the past year, as Congress and the Obama administration have taken steps to control heat-trapping emissions for the first time and international negotiations for a new treaty to slow global warming have been under way. At the same time, there has been mounting scientific evidence of climate change — from melting ice caps to the world’s oceans hitting the highest monthly recorded temperatures this summer.

The poll was released a day after 18 scientific organizations wrote Congress to reaffirm the consensus behind global warming.

MOGADISHU, Somalia Militants attack airport

Mortars fired by Islamic militants slammed into Somalia’s airport as the president was boarding a plane Thursday, sparking battles that killed at least 24 people when return fire hit residential areas and a market, officials said.

A militant leader vowed to avenge the civilian deaths and threatened retaliatory attacks in two African countries that supply troops to the African Union peacekeeping mission stationed in Mogadishu.

The president was unhurt and his plane took off safely, police said, but the deaths of civilians is fueling a growing anger toward African Union peacekeeping forces that are stationed in Mogadishu to help protect the U.N.-backed government.

NEW YORK Lil Wayne headed to jail

In the midst of a career surge that has made him one of rap’s biggest stars, Lil Wayne is bracing for a year behind bars after pleading guilty Thursday in a 2-year-old gun case.

A glum Lil Wayne said little as he admitted illegally having a loaded gun on his tour bus in 2007, moving to end a case that had churned along as he collected Grammys and gold records. He’s expected to get a year in jail at his sentencing, set for February.

The plea, which came as he boasted the country’s No. 1 pop song, makes Lil Wayne the latest in a long line of rappers to face incarceration after topping the charts.

Lil Wayne somberly answered his judge’s questions with “yes, sir” and “no, sir” as he pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan Ice-skating bear kills

The director of a circus arena says an ice-skating bear turned on its trainers, killing one and seriously wounding another.

Kurmangazy Isanayev says workers dragged the trainers with a visiting Russian troupe away from the bear following Wednesday’s attack, as they were rehearsing for a show in Bishkek.

The exits were then closed and rescue services called in.

Police say they shot the bear dead.

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