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Syrian Activists: Air Strike Kills 18 in North

Syrian activists say a government air strike has killed at least 18 people in a residential area in the country's north, while a car bomb has killed five people in a Damascus suburb.

The activists said women and children were among those killed in Monday's air strike in the town of al-Bab. They said other people were feared dead under the rubble of damaged homes.

The activists said the car bombing in the Damascus district of Jaramana also wounded at least 27 people.

UN-Arab League Envoy: 'A terrible weight'

Burma Reveals Names Removed from Blacklist

Burma this week said it would remove more than 2,000 people from a controversial government blacklist long used by the country's former military rulers to keep out critics, activists, and others deemed a threat.

On Thursday, the government went a step further, releasing the names of over 1,000 people who had been trimmed from the notorious list - including several high-profile activists, politicians, and even global celebrities.

Report: Three Eritrean Journalists Die in Prison

A new report says three Eritrean journalists have died at a harsh prison camp after years in detention.

Media advocacy group Reporters Without Borders says an investigation confirmed that journalists Dawit Habtemichael, Mattewos Habteab and Wedi Itay all died in the prison camp of Eiraeiro.

The Paris-based group says the three men had been held since late 2001, when Eritrean officials arrested prominent journalists during a crackdown on independent media.


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No Bail Set for Pakistani Girl Accused of Blasphemy

A Pakistani judge has delayed bail proceedings for a Christian girl accused of blasphemy, a charge punishable by death in Pakistan.

Rimsha Masih was taken into custody earlier this month after angry neighbors surrounded her house in Islamabad and accused her of burning pages inscribed with verses from the Quran. Some say she was burning papers from the garbage for cooking.

China Pushes Tibet Tourism in Theme Park Project

Just outside Tibet’s capital, Lhasa, the Chinese government is building a $4.7 billion theme park that critics describe as a fairy tale universe that trivializes Tibetan culture and glosses over the nation’s troubles.

The construction gets into high gear as Tibetans continue to demonstrate and set themselves on fire to protests Chinese policies in the nation Beijing invaded 63 years ago. The 50th such self-immolation took place this week.

Tibetan Self-Immolates Near Qinghai Military Base

A Tibetan nomad has died after setting himself on fire in a remote region of northwestern China in protest of Chinese rule.

The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy says the man self-immolated Friday in front of a Chinese military compound in Qinghai province.

A friend of the man who set himself on fire said the man was in his late-50s. He is believed to be the oldest person to self-immolate among the dozens of Tibetans who have done so since 2009 to protest Beijing's policies in Tibet.

Former Nigeria Military Leader Hints at Presidential Run

Three years before Nigeria’s next presidential election, retired General Muhammadu Buhari has rescinded his pledge not to run again, hinting he make take a fourth try at the office.

Buhari, a former military head of state, has an unusual reputation for a leader in Nigeria. Supporters say he is not corrupt. In fact, they say he is incorruptible.

They also say he is strict.

Egyptian Court Ruling Sparks Anger, Election Doubts

Tempers flared and protesters took to the streets after Egypt's constitutional court issued twin rulings, sparking confusion just days ahead of a presidential run-off election.

Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court Thursday rejected a parliamentary law that barred officials from the rule of former president Hosni Mubarak from running for office, clearing the way for former prime minister Ahmed Shafiq to contest the upcoming run-off. Shafiq placed second to the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate, Mohamed Morsi, in the first round of voting in late May.

Report: US Expands Air Surveillance Across Africa

The Washington Post reports the U.S. military has set up small air bases across Africa to conduct surveillance of terrorist groups.

The newspaper, quoting U.S. and African officials, says about a dozen bases have been set up since 2007 in a number of countries, including Burkina Faso, Uganda, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and the Seychelles.

The Post reports that instead of drones, the surveillance program uses single-engine PC-12s flown by pilots. It says the small, unarmed planes are equipped to record video, track infrared heat patterns, and catch radio and cellphone signals.

Report: China Shipped Launch Vehicles to N. Korea

Japanese officials say China has violated a U.N. embargo by supplying North Korea with vehicles capable of transporting and launching ballistic missiles.

Local media Wednesday quoted government sources as saying that a Chinese company sent four giant, 16-wheel missile launch vehicles to North Korea last August.

The Asahi Shimbun, which first reported the story, said the U.S. has not publicly criticized China over the matter because it does not want to embarrass Beijing and because it needs China's support to help stifle Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

Pakistan, India’s Stand-Off Continues on Glacier Dispute

Pakistan and India's latest talks about whether to end decades of a military stand-off on the Siachen glacier ended with both sides failing to reach an agreement.

The two-day meeting ended Tuesday in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi with nothing more than a joint commitment to “serious, sustained and result-oriented efforts” for an amicable settlement on the issue. Indian Defense Secretary Shashikant Sharma and his Pakistani counterpart Nargis Sethi agreed to meet again on “mutually convenient dates” to be set through diplomatic channels.

Chavez: 'Absolutely Fine'

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says recent medical tests following his cancer treatments show he is "absolutely fine."

The president said Saturday the exams included imaging tests, which are used to check for the reappearance of tumors.

​​Chavez, who is seeking a new six-year term as president in the October elections, has yet to disclose specific details about his type of cancer.

He has traveled to Cuba several times to have tumors removed from his pelvic region and has undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

African Leaders Want UN Support for Mali Military Intervention

African leaders will seek United Nations backing for military intervention in northern Mali, which for more than two months has been controlled by armed rebels and Islamic militants. The move comes amid citizen uprisings in the north as well as reported clashes among the armed groups themselves.

After weeks of meetings about how to deal with the takeover of northern Mali by armed groups, the military option is looking increasingly likely.

Shots Target UN Monitors in Syria

The United Nations says its unarmed monitors in Syria were shot at and blocked from investigating the site of a newly reported mass killing, fueling more international condemnation of President Bashar al-Assad's government.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the U.N. General Assembly Thursday that international observers were denied access to the village of Mazraat al-Qubeir in central Hama province and "were shot at with small arms" while trying to get there.