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NEWS
June 9, 2013 | By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - A suicide bomber detonated his explosives-laden car Saturday in Syria's central city of Homs, tearing through an area largely populated by the regime's Alawite sect and killing seven people, a state-owned TV station reported. Meanwhile, government troops took control of a key village as the regime presses its offensive to clear a path between Damascus and the Mediterranean coast. With the help of Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, President Bashar Assad's regime has been chasing rebels from long-held strategic areas linking the capital, Damascus, with the government stronghold areas along Mediterranean coast.
NEWS
May 24, 2013 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Opponents and supporters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad traded heavy machine-gun fire and mortar shells in the Lebanese port city of Tripoli, leaving five people dead in what was described as some of the heaviest fighting there in years, officials said Thursday. Tripoli has been a frequent flashpoint of sectarian tensions stoked by the civil war in neighboring Syria. The latest overnight deaths brought to 16 the number of people killed in clashes there this week, and the overall number of wounded rose to 190, said a security official who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with military regulations.
NEWS
May 13, 2013 | By Rahim Faiez, Associated Press
KABUL, Afghanistan - Senior American and Afghan officials held talks Saturday to try to iron out the details of a pact signed a year ago that defines the future of the U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. The Strategic Partnership Agreement outlines a set of principles and general commitments for relations between Washington and Kabul after 2014, when foreign combat troops are to withdraw from Afghanistan. But there is lingering uncertainty over whether either party will be willing or able to stick to the provisions of the pact, which includes loopholes for both nations.
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.
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