Friday's coverage: Supreme Leader speaks, Hawaii girds, gun laws slide

Our coverage plans for today:

In US news ...

Defending Hawaii. A roundup of coverage of Hawaii prepping its anti-missile defense systems after North Korea's threat to launch an attack on the state.

Finance reform. Gail Chaddock reports on the reaction to the Obama team's financial regulation plans on Capitol Hill.

• Healthcare reform. Gail also reports on House Democrats unveiling their own healthcare reform plan.

• War sacrifices. Jim Gimpel looks at which types of Patchwork Nation communities have sacrificed most in terms of its citizens serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.

• Art of stolen parts. Patrik Jonsson covers the case against the creator of Raleigh's "Barrel Monster." The statue, created from stolen highway traffic barrels, has become world-famous in just a week, but the artist is in trouble.

• First father. Linda Feldmann reports that Obama devotes half of Friday, a pretty big chunk of the presidential attention span, to the issue of responsible fatherhood. Is he overdoing the message?

Senior pilots. Alexandra Marks looks at how the death of a 60-something pilot, while flying a transcontinental flight, raises anew questions about the wisdom of extending the age ceiling for commercial pilots.

Suspicious North Korean ship. Gordon Lubold looks at the US Navy's options as it tracks a North Korean ship in the Pacific that it suspects may be carrying nuclear cargo. There’s no way Pyongyang will permit the ship to be “inspected,” so what’s the Navy’s next move?

• Urban gun laws. Patrik Jonsson on cities losing their grip on gun control. A judge on Thursday shot down a Philadelphia law that targeted assault-style weapons, following similar rulings in Washington and San Francisco. New York and Chicago face judicial tests of local gun regulations next.

• The Allen Stanford case. Alexandra Marks explains the charges against the billionaire financier.

In world news ...

Scientology in France. In closing arguments before a criminal court in Paris, two French prosecutors this week called for dissolution of the church itself, the first such instance in France. Robert Marquand covers the trial.

Google in China. Peter Ford on Google's Chinese travails. Just a couple of weeks after bending over backward to keep Chinese government censors happy during the sensitive Tiananmen Square anniversary, the company that pledges not to be "evil" is being thumped by Beijing for being pornographers.

Sri Lanka's Tamil minority. Simon Montlake looks at how Sri Lanka is treating the defeated Tamils. Since defeating the rebel Tigers last month, the government has refused to release some 300,000 Tamil war refugees. It's also kiboshed a national inquiry into wartime abuses and rebuffed calls for an international investigation.

Iran's savvy protests. Yigal Schleifer on why new-media experts say that Iran's civil resistance movement is unique. The government's tight control on media and the Internet has spawned a generation adept at circumventing cyber roadblocks, making the country ripe for a technology-driven protest movement.

Khamenei's warning. Scott Peterson reports on the Supreme Leader's warning to protesters and their leaders that they cannot continue to protest – and if they do, they will be responsible for any violence and bloodshed.

• The Hermitage franchise. Joel Weickgenant on Saint Petersburg's Hermitage opening its first ever branch outside Russia, in Amsterdam. The opening of the massive new museum is set for June 20. The two cities have a shared history that dates back 400 years and this museum is meant to set the relationship into stone.

Afghan park. Ben Arnoldy on Afghanistan's first national park, in Bamiyan.

Taliban sympathizers. Daud Khattak on the rush of Islamist charities to aid Pakistani refugees from the Swat Valley – and win their hearts and minds.

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