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Daily Digest: Manning defers plea, Iraqi bombings continue and #thePopetweets4Lent

Here's your Daily Digest for Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning deferred his plea to charges he gave more than 700,000 documents and video clips to WikiLeaks, USA Today reported.

Manning also deferred his choice over whether to be tried by a military jury or a lone judge. He faces 22 counts, including aiding the enemy, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Manning allegedly downloaded and transferred nearly a half million battlefield reports from the fronts in Iraq and Afghanistan, hundreds-of-thousands of diplomatic cables and video of a U.S. Army helicopter attack that killed two Reuters journalists.

Online chats allegedly between Manning and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange were presented by prosecutors in December.

A trial date hasn’t been set.

Dozens of people across Iraq were killed in a spate of bombings today, two months after the U.S. military withdrawal, The Washington Post reported.

At least 55 people were killed and more than 220 were wounded. Most of the attacks were carried out with car bombs and appeared to target Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and other cities. The victims included civilians and schoolchildren, according to security officials.

The Washington Post has an interactive map of suicide bomb attacks in Iraq since 2006.

No group has taken responsibility for the bombings.

Pope Benedict XVI hasn’t given up tweeting for Lent, and is sending daily Twitter updates from @Pope2YouVatican, becoming the first pontiff to use the social network.

Benedict’s tweets started Ash Wednesday and the account has nearly 8,000 followers.

Last year, the Vatican held a blogger’s summit to develop strategies to bring the Roman Catholic Church’s message to the Internet.

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