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Hezbollah says Syria will send it new arms after Israeli raid

BEIRUT: Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Syria would respond to Israeli raids around Damascus by giving his group sophisticated new weapons, the outcome Israel said its attack was launched to avert. "If the aim of your attack was to prevent the strengthening of the resistance's capabilities, then Syria will give the resistance sophisticated weapons the like of which it hasn't seen before," he said in a televised speech on Thursday. "The resistance is prepared to accept any sophisticated weaponry even if it was to break the equilibrium (in the region)," Nasrallah sai...
Published On: 2013-05-10

Assad must go: United States

ROME: US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted today Syrian President Bashar Assad could play no role in a transitional government, on a third day of diplomatic talks seeking to help end the conflict. Kerry’s comments came as he met Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Rome to shore up US support for Amman, struggling under the weight of some 525,000 refugees who have fled across the border from Syria. Jordan was working with the US to “effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgement President Assad will not be a co...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Syrian troops‚ rebels clash

BEIRUT: Fierce clashes between rebels and fighters loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime today raged around insurgent-held Qusayr in central Syria, a monitoring group said. An army officer told AFP the military seized control of Shumariyeh village near the town of Qusayr. “The Syrian army seized back control of Shumariyeh in the Qusayr countryside, and troops are currently on their way to the village of Ghassaniyeh” which has been under rebel control for more than a year, the officer said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the report.“Backed by pro...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Ohioan arraigned on rape‚ kidnap charges

CLEVELAND: A man suspected of raping and kidnapping three women who had been missing for about a decade and were found alive at his home made his first court appearance today and was ordered held on $8 million bond. Ariel Castro appeared in court this morning. He looked down at the ground for nearly the entire proceeding, biting his collar and signing documents with his handcuffed hands. He didn’t speak. Bond was set at $2 million on each case. The women found alive after a decade in captivity endured lonely, dark lives inside a dingy home where they were raped and allowed outside only...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Berlusconi faces graft suit

ROME: Italian prosecutors today filed charges against former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for allegedly bribing a left-wing senator 3.0 million euros ($3.9 million) to join his party. The announcement from the prosecutor’s office in Naples comes a day after a Milan court upheld Berlusconi’s conviction in a separate case of tax fraud linked to his Mediaset business empire. Prosecutors allege that the media baron paid off senator Sergio De Gregorio after parliamentary elections in 2006 won by a centre-left coalition led by Romano Prodi by just a handful of votes. A few month...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Israel okays settlement plan‚ Palestine fumes

JERUSALEM: Israel has signed off on plans for nearly 300 new settler homes near Ramallah, angering the Palestinians who accused the Israeli government today of trying to “sabotage” US moves to rekindle peace talks. The announcement came just days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly ordered a freeze on tenders for new West Bank settler homes to avoid harming efforts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to bring both sides back to the negotiating table. “The Civil Administration has given a green signal for 296 housing units at Beit El,” said the spokesm...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Train blast injures 27

MOSCOW: An explosion on a freight train carrying chemicals and oil products hurled part of a railcar into a residential block in southern Russia early on Thursday, injuring 27 people of whom 13 were taken to hospital, officials said. The federal Investigative Committee said 69 railcars carrying sodium chloride, gasoline, fuel oil, propane and other goods derailed following an onboard fire near Belaya Kalitva station in the Rostov-on-Don region, around 1,000 km south of Moscow. Diamond heist trial BRUSSELS: Eight people detained in an international sweep aimed at nailing those behind a spec...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Body of Boston bomber entombed

BOSTON: The body of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev has been entombed and is no longer in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts, where it had been held at a funeral home, the Worcester Police Department said today. The police did not disclose where the body had been moved. "A courageous and compassionate individual came forward to provide the assistance to properly bury the deceased," said Worcester Police Sergeant Kerry Hazelhurst. The 26-year-old ethnic Chechen died in an April 19 gun battle with police, four days after he and his younger brother Dzhokhar are s...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Pak ex-PM Gilani's son kidnapped

ISLAMABAD: Gunmen kidnapped the son of a former Pakistani prime minister today as a letter from the leader of the Pakistani Taliban revealed plans for suicide bomb attacks on election day. Pakistani Taliban leader Hakimullah Mehsud, in a message to the group’s spokesman, outlined plans for the attacks, including suicide blasts, in all four of the country’s provinces on polling day on Saturday. “We don’t accept the system of infidels which is called democracy,” Mehsud said in the letter, dated May 1, and obtained by Reuters today. Since April, the al-Qaeda-linke...
Published On: 2013-05-09

Injured Imran 'will not be able to vote'

ISLAMABAD: Cricket star turned Pakistani politician Imran Khan will not be able to vote in landmark elections on Saturday as his doctors insist he needs to stay in hospital, officials said. Khan, who as head of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf has electrified the campaign with calls for change, suffered fractured vertebrae and a broken rib on Tuesday when he fell from a lift taking him to the stage at a rally. “It is impossible,” Khwaja Nazir, a spokesman for the Shaukat Khanum hospital told AFP when asked if Khan would visit his constituency to vote on Saturday. “His doctors are not...
Published On: 2013-05-09