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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — YouTube says more than 1 billion people are now visiting its online video site each month to watch everything from zany clips of cute kittens to sobering scenes of social unrest around the world.

The milestone announced Wednesday marks another step in YouTube's evolution from a quirky startup launched in 2005 to one of the most influential forces in today's media landscape.

YouTube crossed the 1 billion threshold five months after Facebook Inc. said its online social network had reached that figure for the first time.

The vast audience has given YouTube's owner, Google Inc., another lucrative channel for selling online ads beyond its dominant Internet search engine.

Google bought YouTube for $1.76 billion in 2006 when the video site had an estimated 50 million users worldwide.
CHICAGO (AP) — The nation's most influential pediatrician's group says research shows that parents' sexual orientation has no effect on a child's development and that kids fare just as well in financially and emotionally stable straight or same-sex families.

The American Academy of Pediatrics endorsement of same-sex marriage has been published online, citing the belief that a two-parent marriage is best equipped to provide the right environment. Their policy says that if a child has two same-sex parents who choose to marry, it's in everyone's best interests for "legal and social institutions (to) allow and support them."

The policy cites reports indicating that almost 2 million U.S. children are being raised by same-sex parents.

Officials with the group said they wanted to make the academy's views known before two same-sex marriage cases are considered by the U.S. Supreme Court next week.

Gaza militants fire at Israel during Obama visit

Thursday, 21 March 2013 02:55 Published in National News
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say Gaza militants have fired two rockets at southern Israel on the second day of President Barack Obama's visit to the region.

Spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says one rocket exploded in the courtyard of a house in the border town of Sderot, causing damage but no injuries. The other landed in an open field.

As a presidential candidate in 2008, Obama visited Sderot, which is frequently targeted by rocket attacks from the nearby Gaza Strip. The territory is ruled by the militant Palestinian Hamas group.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for Thursday's attack, which came as Obama was in Jerusalem. He is to visit the West Bank city of Ramallah later in the day.

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