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Israeli troops kill six in Golan Heights

MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights — Israeli troops opened fire on Sunday as protesters from Syria stormed a ceasefire line in the occupied Golan Heights, with Damascus saying six demonstrators were killed. Hundreds of protesters rushed towards the ceasefire line, attempting to cut through a line of barbed wire and head…

Moroccans hold peaceful protest despite government ban

RABAT — Hundreds of young Moroccans on Sunday flouted a government ban and held a peaceful pro-democracy rally in Rabat as authorities promised not to crack down on protesters, officials and demonstrators said. Protests calling for reforms have shaken the kingdom since the beginning of the year amid popular uprisings…

Yemen’s Saleh evacuates to Saudi Arabia, VP in power for now

RIYADH — Yemen’s beleaguered President Ali Abdullah Saleh, wounded in shelling of his compound in the capital Sanaa, arrived late Saturday in Riyadh for treatment but has not stood down, a Saudi official said. “President Saleh has arrived in Riyadh for treatment, but he will return to Yemen,” the official…

Egypt to put 48 on trial for church clash

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s public prosecutor said it had referred 48 Muslims and Christians to criminal court on Saturday for their roles in sectarian violence that led to the burning of a church in the Cairo district of Imbaba on May 7. The clashes, in which 12 people were killed…

Secretary of Defense Gates: Too early to switch Afghan war strategy

KABUL (AFP) – US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it would be “premature” to change strategy in the Afghan war on a surprise farewell trip to the war-torn country Saturday. Gates also urged President Hamid Karzai’s government to “step up” to ensure that the process of handing control of security…

Key al-Qaeda operative killed in Pakistan by U.S. drone

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Senior al Qaeda operative Ilyas Kashmiri, regarded as one of the most dangerous militants in the world, was killed by a U.S. drone aircraft missile strike in Pakistan, an intelligence official and local media said on Saturday. The death of the Pakistani militant was another intelligence coup…

Tourists flock to Tiananmen Square for anniversary

BEIJING (AFP) – Thousands of Chinese and foreign tourists flocked to Tiananmen Square on Saturday, the anniversary of the deadly 1989 crackdown on mass pro-democracy protests, amid a noticeable police presence. The sensitive anniversary of the brutal June 4 army action in the heart of Beijing comes as the Chinese…

Thai customs seize 451 turtles in suitcases

BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thai customs has found 451 turtles worth 1 million baht ($33,000) stashed in suitcases offloaded from a passenger flight from Bangladesh, the latest seizure of live creatures at Bangkok’s bustling Suvarnabhumi airport. Turtles of varying sizes worth around 2,000 baht apiece in Thai markets, and seven false…

100,000 throng to Syrian protesters’ funerals

DAMASCUS (AFP) – More than 100,000 mourners turned out on Saturday for the funerals of protesters killed by Syrian security forces in Hama, a rights group said, warning that the country is nearing an “abyss”. Syrian Observatory for Human Rights head Rami Abdel Rahman said more than 100,000 people took…

Syria cracks down on protesters, killing 34

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian security forces intensified their assault on protesters calling for President Bashar al-Assad to quit, killing at least 34 demonstrators in the latest crackdown in the city of Hama, activists said. Thousands of protesters took to the streets after noon prayers on Friday in defiance of security…

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