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NEWS
April 14, 2013 | By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
AL-QASR, LEBANON - Syrian soldiers backed by warplanes battled rebels for control of strategic hilltop villages near the Lebanese border on Friday, as government troops stepped up counterattacks against opposition forces threatening regime supply lines on the country's frontiers. Bomb blasts and shots fired into the air to mourn a fallen Syrian government soldier could be heard on the Lebanese side of the border as fighting raged around Qusair, a contested central Syrian town near a key highway between Damascus and the coast.
NEWS
April 9, 2013 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT - After weeks of rebel gains in the south, the Syrian regime launched a counteroffensive on Sunday with widespread air strikes and an operation that reclaimed a northern village on a strategically important route. At least 20 people were killed in heavy air strikes that targeted rebels trying to topple the regime in at least seven cities and regions. To underline their resolve, the government called on opposition fighters to surrender their arms and warned in cellphone text messages that the army is "coming to get you. " State television said the aim of the counteroffensive was to send a message to the opposition and its Western backers that President Bashar Assad's troops are capable and willing to battle increasingly better armed rebels on multiple fronts.
NEWS
April 9, 2013 | Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have started grabbing young men with long or gel-styled spiky hair off the streets, bundling them into jeeps, mocking them, and shaving their heads, two of those targeted and a rights group said Sunday. It is the latest sign that the Islamic militants are imposing their strict practices on the population. Hamas has been slowly forcing its fundamentalist interpretation of the religion on already conservative Gaza since it overran the territory in 2007, but the new action against long hair and tight or low-waist pants - in several cases accompanied by beatings - appears to be one of the most aggressive phases of the campaign so far. The crackdown began last week, and two of those targeted told the Associated Press said they were rounded up in separate sweeps in Gaza City that included more than two dozen young men. House painter Ayman al-Sayed, 19, had shoulder-length hair before police grabbed him and shaved his head Thursday.
NEWS
April 2, 2013
CENTENNIAL, COLO. - For James Holmes, "justice is death," prosecutors said Monday in announcing they will seek his execution if he is convicted in the Aurora movie theater attack that killed 12 people. The decision - disclosed in court just days after prosecutors publicly rejected Holmes' offer to plead guilty if they took the death penalty off the table - elevated the case to a new level. "It's my determination and my intention that in this case, for James Eagan Holmes, justice is death," District Attorney George Brauchler said, adding that he had discussed the case with 60 people who lost relatives in the July 20 shooting rampage.
NEWS
March 31, 2013 | Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian rebels on Friday captured a strategic town near the border with Jordan after a day of fierce clashes that killed at least 38 people, activists said, as opposition fighters expand their presence in the south, considered a gateway to Damascus. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 16 rebels were among the dead in the fighting in and around Dael. The town lies less than 10 miles from the Jordanian border in Daraa province, where the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's regime began two years ago. The rebel gains have coincided with what regional officials and military experts say is a sharp increase in weapons shipments to opposition fighters by Arab governments in coordination with the United States in the hopes of readying a push into Assad's stronghold in the capital, Damascus.
NEWS
March 29, 2013 | By Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Mortar shells crashed into an outdoor cafe at Damascus University on Thursday, killing at least 10 students in the deadliest of a rising number of mortar attacks in the heart of the Syrian capital. The strikes have escalated as rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad try to enter the city, terrifying civilians whose support the opposition needs to advance its cause. It was unclear who fired the rounds. The government blamed "terrorists," its blanket term for those fighting Assad's regime.
NEWS
March 17, 2013 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Gossip professionals are under attack this week, targeted by celebs who slam us for distorting the truth. Miley Cyrus is mad over rumors she's split up with sweetheart Liam Hemsworth because she's been seen without her engagement ring. She says the bauble is out for repairs. Her pal Evan Rachel Wood tweets her support: "The fact that we live in a world which condones the stripping of basic human rights . . . of people because of their status, is very sad to me. " Yep, I've always dreamt of trampling on Wood's human rights!
NEWS
March 8, 2013 | By Michael D. Schaffer, Inquirer Staff Writer
Mary Robinson doesn't mind the tough stuff. As the United Nations chief advocate for human rights, she traveled the world in a hot-spot hopscotch - Rwanda, Chechnya, Dagestan, East Timor, the West Bank - for hard discussions with people who didn't necessarily want her around. No matter. "I've never found it difficult to stand up to bullies," says the former president of Ireland (1990-1997) and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (1997-2002). It's a matter-of-fact statement, not a boast.
NEWS
March 3, 2013 | By William Wan, Washington Post
BEIJING - In an unusual action that quickly sparked debate online, Chinese authorities showed a live broadcast Friday of four foreign drug smugglers in their last hours before execution for killing 13 fishermen. A shocking and apparently unprecedented form of reality TV for China, the program on state-run television featured all the staples of modern current events coverage - experts, pundits, instant analysis. It cut away as the convicted men were being led from their cells, hands tied up with rope, toward their lethal injections.
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