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NEWS
May 4, 2013
Obama: Mexico set to advance SAN JOSE, Costa Rica - President Obama on Friday cast Mexico as a nation ready to take "its rightful place in the world" and move past the drug battles and violence that have defined its relationship with the United States. He then headed to Costa Rica to prod Central American leaders to tackle those same issues more aggressively. Obama's visit to Mexico and Costa Rica is his first to Latin America since winning reelection. In Mexico in particular, he tried to set a new course for ties between the United States and its neighbor, promoting Mexico's improving economy and its democracy.
NEWS
April 22, 2013 | BY JAN RANSOM, Daily News Staff Writer ransomj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5218
A BILL SPONSORED by City Councilman Jim Kenney at the behest of the LGBT community would require newly constructed or renovated city-owned buildings to have gender-neutral bathrooms in addition to men's and women's rooms. "It can be an awkward and embarrassing situation," said Kenney, for anyone who may "feel more like a woman, but can't use the women's room. These functions should be fair for everybody. " Speakers at a recent City Council committee hearing on the bill told stories of transgendered youth who faced discrimination in bathroom access.
NEWS
April 19, 2013 | By Greg Stohr, Bloomberg News
WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court insulated multinational firms from at least some lawsuits over atrocities overseas, scaling back a favorite legal tool of human-rights activists. The court threw out a suit accusing two foreign-based units of Royal Dutch Shell of facilitating torture and executions in Nigeria. The majority said the 1789 Alien Tort Statute generally does not apply to conduct beyond U.S. borders. "All the relevant conduct took place outside the United States," Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote.
NEWS
April 16, 2013 | By Ryan Lucas, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian government warplanes carried out air strikes on a rebellious neighborhood in the capital and a village in the country's northeast on Sunday, killing at least 25 people, including a dozen children, activists said. With its ground forces stretched thin, President Bashar al-Assad's regime has relied heavily on its fighter jets and helicopters to try to stem rebel advances in the country's civil war. The air raids frequently hit civilian areas, drawing criticism from the international community.
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.
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