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NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By Albert Aji and Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - The nation's oil minister blamed international sanctions Wednesday for shortages of cooking gas and other basic goods, saying the measures have bled $4 billion from the nation's ailing economy. President Bashar al-Assad's regime must strike a delicate balance toward the U.S. and EU sanctions as it confronts a 15-month-old uprising against its rule, acknowledging their heavy toll while denying the regime's grip on power is in any way shaken. Sufian Allaw said the punitive measures were to blame for the shortages that have left Syrians standing in long lines to pay inflated prices for cooking gas, fuel, sugar and other staples.
NEWS
December 11, 2011 | By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian forces fired on funeral processions and clashed with army defectors Saturday, killing at least 12 people as France called on the international community to "save the Syrian people. " The nine-month-old uprising against Syria's authoritarian president, Bashar al-Assad, has grown increasingly violent in recent months, as once-peaceful protesters took up arms and rebel soldiers fought back against the army. Some of the worst bloodshed has been in Homs, the central city that has emerged as the epicenter of the revolt, and there are concerns a renewed assault could be imminent.
NEWS
March 13, 2012 | By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press
UNITED NATIONS - The United States and Russia clashed over Syria at the United Nations on Monday after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the divided Security Council to speak with one voice and help the Mideast nation "pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe. " Washington and Moscow both called for an end to the bloody yearlong conflict - but on different terms, leaving in doubt prospects of breaking a deadlock in the council over a new resolution. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rejected any equivalence between the "premeditated murders" carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's "military machine" and the civilians under siege driven to self-defense.
NEWS
June 3, 2012 | By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Gun battles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups in northern Lebanon killed at least seven people and wounded 22 on Saturday, security officials said, as activists reported fresh shelling in a region in central Syria where a massacre last week left more than 100 people dead. The clashes were the latest to hit the Lebanese port of Tripoli. Repeated outbreaks of violence in the city, the country's second largest, are seen as spillover from the conflict in neighboring Syria and have raised fears of an escalation in sectarian tensions in Lebanon.
NEWS
August 22, 2011 | By Hannah Allam and Ipek Yezdani, McClatchy Newspapers
CAIRO - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Sunday repeated promises of changes and warned of "repercussions" should the West intervene militarily in the uprising threatening his family's four-decade rule. Assad's remarks during a choreographed question-and-answer session that aired live on state TV did not diverge from the message his regime had sent since the rebellion started in the spring: Change is coming soon, the uprising is the work of militants, and interference from the West is an assault on Syria's sovereignty.
NEWS
March 5, 2012 | By Ben Hubbard and Aya Batrawy, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Saudi Arabia said Sunday that Syrians have a right to take up arms to defend themselves against the regime and accused the Damascus government of "imposing itself by force," as concerns mounted over a humanitarian crisis there. In a rare televised news conference, Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said the kingdom welcomed international efforts to broker a cease-fire in Syria but added that they have "failed to stop the massacres. " "Is there something greater than the right to defend oneself and to defend human rights?"
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - France on Tuesday became the first Western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the "sole" one, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country. The two announcements could start a trend toward world recognition of the rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, undercutting whatever legitimacy the regime of President Bashar al-Assad still has after 20 months of a bloody civil war. "We look forward to supporting the national coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule, and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria," said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner in Washington.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian government troops on Thursday flushed out rebels who had stormed a prison compound in the northern city of Aleppo in a bid to free hundreds of political prisoners. The forced retreat was the latest setback for fighters seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have been gaining ground in the country's civil war. In Washington, President Obama and the Turkish prime minister projected a united front on Syria, despite sharp differences about how much the U.S. should intervene.
NEWS
February 2, 2013 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian opposition leaders and rebels on Friday slammed President Bashar al-Assad for not responding to a rare Israeli air strike near Damascus, calling it proof of his weakness and acquiescence to Israel. The opposition's sharp reaction underlines how those seeking to topple the Syrian leader might be more prepared to tangle with Israel if they came to power. Wednesday's air strike that U.S. officials say hit a convoy of antiaircraft weapons bound for the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group also has fueled rage among many Syrians who say they now must fear warplanes from both Assad's forces and Israel.
NEWS
January 23, 2012
Former dictator ordered to court MEXICO CITY - A Guatemalan judge has ordered former military dictator Efrain Rios Montt to appear in court Thursday, the first step in a process that could lead to his being tried on genocide charges related to Guatemala's brutal 36-year civil war. During Rios Montt's 17-month rule in 1982 and 1983, the Guatemalan army pursued a scorched-earth campaign in the Mayan highlands that included massacres. To flush out leftist guerrillas, soldiers entered Indian villages and hunted down inhabitants, slaughtering them.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
April 18, 2014
IN THE HIERARCHY of saints, martyrs are on the highest rung of the celestial ladder, at least for me. While I love St. Bernadette with her story of mystical vision, it's St. Maria Goretti - the child who surrendered her life to protect her purity - who animates my faith. St. Therese of Lisieux is an example of the glory we can find in small things but the Little Flower doesn't inspire me like Joan of Arc, who died in a maelstrom of fire. And while St. Francis of Assisi with his gentle ways is a hero to our current, beloved pope, I'm drawn to St. Sebastian, a Roman soldier who paid for his conversion to Christ in a barrage of piercing arrows.
NEWS
May 17, 2013 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian government troops on Thursday flushed out rebels who had stormed a prison compound in the northern city of Aleppo in a bid to free hundreds of political prisoners. The forced retreat was the latest setback for fighters seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, whose forces have been gaining ground in the country's civil war. In Washington, President Obama and the Turkish prime minister projected a united front on Syria, despite sharp differences about how much the U.S. should intervene.
NEWS
March 23, 2013 | By Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed Friday to avenge the death of a senior pro-government cleric who was killed along with dozens of people in a suicide bombing at a Damascus mosque, saying he would "purge our country" of the militants behind the attack in the heart of the capital. Both Assad and the rebels seeking to topple him blamed each other for Thursday's bombing at the mosque. At least 49 people were killed, including the 84-year-old preacher and his grandson, the government said, in one of the most brazen assassinations of the Syrian civil war. Although the cleric was despised by the rebels for his support of the regime, opposition leaders condemned his killing.
NEWS
February 2, 2013 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian opposition leaders and rebels on Friday slammed President Bashar al-Assad for not responding to a rare Israeli air strike near Damascus, calling it proof of his weakness and acquiescence to Israel. The opposition's sharp reaction underlines how those seeking to topple the Syrian leader might be more prepared to tangle with Israel if they came to power. Wednesday's air strike that U.S. officials say hit a convoy of antiaircraft weapons bound for the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group also has fueled rage among many Syrians who say they now must fear warplanes from both Assad's forces and Israel.
NEWS
January 8, 2013 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Monday expressed disappointment with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for rejecting the most important elements of an international road map to end the country's civil war - a political handover and establishment of a transitional governing body. Assad in a rare speech Sunday outlined his own vision for ending the country's conflict with a plan that would keep him in power. He also dismissed any chance of dialogue with the armed opposition and called on Syrians to fight what he called "murderous criminals.
NEWS
November 18, 2012 | By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press
PARIS - France on Saturday welcomed a member of the Syrian opposition as the country's ambassador, a bold bid to confer legitimacy on the week-old opposition coalition and encourage other Western nations to follow suit. The new envoy, Mounzir Makhous, appeared before the press after talks at France's presidential palace between President Francois Hollande and the head of the newly formed Syrian opposition coalition. France has swiftly stepped out ahead of Western allies nearly since the start of the Syrian uprising 20 months ago. Saturday's surprise announcement came even before the brand new coalition has named its provisional government and before a place in Paris to house the envoy has been found.
NEWS
November 16, 2012 | By Elaine Ganley, Associated Press
PARIS - France raised the possibility Thursday of sending "defensive weapons" to Syria's rebels, but Russia warned that such a move would violate international law. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said his country will ask the European Union to consider lifting the Syrian arms embargo, which prevents weapons from being sent to either side. "We must not militarize the conflict . . . but it's obviously unacceptable that there are liberated zones and they're bombed" by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, Fabius said in an interview with RTL radio.
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - France on Tuesday became the first Western country to formally recognize Syria's newly formed opposition coalition as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people. The U.S. also recognized the leadership body announced in Qatar Sunday as a legitimate representative, but stopped short of describing it as the "sole" one, saying the group must first demonstrate its ability to represent Syrians inside the country. The two announcements could start a trend toward world recognition of the rebels as the legitimate government of Syria, undercutting whatever legitimacy the regime of President Bashar al-Assad still has after 20 months of a bloody civil war. "We look forward to supporting the national coalition as it charts a course for the end of Assad's bloody rule, and marks the start, we believe, of a peaceful, just, and democratic future for the people of Syria," said U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner in Washington.
NEWS
August 3, 2012 | By Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Kofi Annan announced his resignation Thursday as peace envoy to Syria and issued a blistering critique of world powers, bringing to a dramatic end a frustrating six-month effort that failed to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country plunged into civil war. Annan also had harsh words for the Syrian regime, saying it was clear that President Bashar al-Assad "must leave office. " As the violence escalated on the ground, rebels used a captured tank to shell a military air base near Aleppo - one of the first known uses of heavy weapons by the insurgents.
NEWS
July 3, 2012 | By Aya Batrawy and Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
CAIRO - At a meeting Monday, the Arab League chief urged exiled Syrian opposition figures to unite as a new Western effort to force President Bashar Assad from power faltered. Meanwhile, an additional 85 soldiers, including a general, fled to Turkey in a growing wave of defections. Turkey's state-run Andolou news agency said the group of defectors also included 14 other officers, ranging from a colonel to seven captains. It is one of the largest groups of Syrian army defectors to cross into Turkey since the uprising against Assad began.
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