Friday, May 31, 2013

World News Briefs -- May 31, 2013 (Evening Edition)

Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are seen in Arjoun village near Qusair town May 30, 2013. REUTERS- Rami Bleible

Assad Forces Advance; West, Russia Exchange Barbs Ahead Of Talks -- Reuters

(Reuters) - Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad tightened their siege of rebels in a strategic town on Friday, in a counter-offensive that is shifting the balance of the Syrian war ahead of a peace conference next month.

Rebels said they had managed to infiltrate new fighters into the town of Qusair on the Lebanese frontier, where they are encircled by Assad's army and his allies in Lebanon's Hezbollah militia who have openly joined the war on his behalf.

The battle comes amid a blizzard of diplomacy ahead of the conference called by the United States and Russia, the first time in a year that the global powers ranged on opposing sides in Syria's civil war have agreed to talk about a way to end it.

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Assad warns Israel as 'rebels flood Qusayr'.

France says 3,000-4,000 Hezbollah are fighting in Syria.

Russia unlikely to send S-300 missiles to Syria before autumn: Interfax.

UN blacklists Syria's al-Nusra Front.

Turkey arrests anti-government protesters.

Iran petrochemical industry targeted for U.S. sanctions.

Iran's presidential candidates debate justice and a 'resistance economy'.

Iran candidate Jalili says women’s rights are as mothers.

U.S. to loosen sanctions on Iran for mobile phones, gadgets.

Palestinians warn that Israeli settlement plans could scupper peace talks efforts.


Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi speaks out.

NATO to hold 2014 summit on Afghanistan troop withdrawal.

Foreign fighters flow into southern Afghanistan to battle US, allied forces.

Myanmar, Kachin reach tentative ceasefire.

Bhutan readies for first stage of key elections.

India and China tackle border dispute.

India's economic growth at slowest rate in a decade.

Kyrgyzstan imposes state of emergency to protect Centerra mine.

China's Tiananmen Mothers criticize Xi for lack of reforms.


Guards at Libyan oil field protest, force shutdown.

Libya not ready to try Saif al-Islam Gaddafi - ICC.

Sudanese rebels say shoot down army helicopter in oil area.

Libya steps up fight against militias. Insight: Libya becomes 'the new Mali' as Islamists shift in Sahara.

Militants threaten 'all West Africa'.

Malians in Gao protest against French 'bias'.

Darfur tribes' battle for gum arabic trade leads to 64 deaths.

Nigeria arrests trio over 'Hezbollah cell'.

Egyptian draft law said to dash hopes of free civil society.

After war, Ivory Coast struggles with reconciliation process.

Graphic photos of Oscar Pistorius crime scene leaked.


Italy announces first case of SARS-like coronavirus.

Eurozone unemployment hits another record high. Eurozone unemployment hits record high of 19.4m in April.

Frankfurt 'Blockupy' protesters surround ECB.

Putin economy reshuffle to strengthen Kremlin: sources.

No quick return of a brilliant Russian economist expected, as politics weigh.

Census reveals German population lower than thought.

British taxpayers to pay 'millions' towards secretive Bilderberg meeting.


Colombia's Santos calls Venezuela plot accusations "crazy".

Russian oil company suspends exploration in Cuba.

IRS may have targeted conservatives more broadly.

Boston bombing suspect is walking, mother says.

Eric Holder's offer of talks on spying scandal divides US media.

Brazil faces 1970s stagflation as resource boom wilts.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford 'will not resign'.

Relatives seek answers over mass kidnapping in Mexico.

After tour abroad, dissident blogger Sanchez returns to Cuba.

Cuba says inclusion on U.S. terrorist list 'shameful'.

Update: SOUTHCOM ISR helped kill 32 'narco-terrorists'.


Intel dilemma in Boston, London, Paris attacks.

Tehran says U.S., not Iran, sponsors terrorism.

Al Qaeda remains a threat to U.S. via its franchises despite Obama’s boast.

Iran's sponsorship of terrorism sees "marked resurgence" : U.S..

State: Hezbollah sees 'resurgence' on world stage.

Guantánamo Bay hunger strike worsens.

Corpus Christi man gets 25 years in plot to use drug cartel to kill Saudi ambassador.

Latest issue of al Qaeda magazine Inspire celebrates Boston bombings.


Roiled by mystery GMO wheat, US races to reassure buyers.

Plan by Google’s Motorola to open Tex. factory signals shift as tech firms look to add U.S. jobs.

Ex-Microsoft manager plans to create first U.S. marijuana brand.

Megaupload wins access to data seized in police raid.

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