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Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad: war turning in regime’s favour

President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that the war that has torn Syria apart for three years and cost more than 150,000 lives is turning in the government’s favour, state news agency SANA reported. “This is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily in terms of the army’s achievements in…

Thousands flee, 11 dead, as killer blaze tears through Chile

More than 10,000 people were evacuated Sunday as an army of firefighters battled a killer blaze that tore through parts of Chile’s historic port of Valparaiso and left at least 11 people dead. The fire, which started in woodland Saturday, gutted 500 homes as flames advanced on the city of…

Pope Francis celebrates Palm Sunday with solemnity and ‘selfies’

Pope kicks off Easter week with Palm Sunday mass (via AFP) Pope Francis kicked off weeklong observances leading up to Easter by celebrating Palm Sunday mass with some 100,000 pilgrims in a sun-drenched St Peter’s Square on Sunday. Dressed in Palm Sunday red, the head of the Roman Catholic Church…

Moroccan women take to street, demand constitutional guarantee of gender equality

Morocco women march to demand gender equality (via AFP) A group of around 800 Moroccans, mostly women, staged a march in the capital Rabat on Sunday demanding that a constitutional guarantee of gender equality be applied in the kingdom. The march from the city centre to parliament was led by…

Syrian President Assad claims the country’s civil war is turning in his regime’s favor

Syria’s Assad says war turning in regime’s favour (via AFP) Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday the three-year war tearing the country apart is turning in the government’s favour, state television reported. “This is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily in terms of the army’s achievements…  …

U.S. claims ‘signs of Moscow involvement’ in latest outbreak of violence in Ukraine

‘Signs of Moscow involvement’ in Ukraine violence, US says (via AFP) Attacks on police and security service buildings in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russian gunmen bore “tell-tale signs of Moscow’s involvement,” the US envoy to the United Nations said Sunday. Speaking on ABC television’s “This Week” program, Ambassador Samantha…  …

Ukranian special forces battle pro-Kremlin militias across the eastern Ukraine

Ukraine in bloody battle to oust pro-Russian gunmen (via AFP) At least two people were killed and nine wounded on Sunday in gun battles between Ukrainian special forces and pro-Kremlin militias that threatened to scuttle the first international talks on the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War. The clashes……

Malaysian authorities insist that no calls were made from cockpit of Flight MH370

Malaysia says no mid-flight phone call from MH370 cockpit (via AFP) Malaysia on Sunday rejected claims that phone calls were made from Flight MH370 before it vanished, but refused to rule out any possibility in a so far fruitless investigation into the jet’s disappearance. The New Straits Times, quoting an…

Iranian Supreme Court overturns death sentence for former U.S. Marine

Iran court overturns ex-US Marine’s death sentence (via AFP) Iran’s Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence handed to a former US Marine convicted of espionage, with the penalty being cut to 10 years in jail, media reported Sunday. Amir Hekmati, a dual US-Iranian citizen, was arrested in August 2011,……

181 reporters beaten, arrested or robbed as Venezuela protests continue

A total of 181 journalists have been the target of attacks, thefts or arbitrary detentions in Venezuela since the start of anti-government protests two months ago, a reporters’ union said Saturday. The Union of Press Workers said 60 percent of the attacks were carried out by security forces, with just…

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