Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Arab League chief warns of Syrian civil war

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The head of the Arab League warned Friday that Syria may be sliding toward civil war, as security forces fired on thousands of people who poured into the streets in support of army defectors who switched sides to try to topple President Bashar Assad. At least 10 people were killed, activists said.

During the 10-month-old uprising, much of the bloodshed has been from security forces firing on unarmed protesters. But in recent months breakaway soldiers have been attacking the Syrian military, and some opposition members have taken up arms against the regime, adding to the violence.

The Arab League chief, Nabil Elaraby, told the Associated Press that Assad's regime was either not complying or only partially complying with a league plan that Syria signed last month to end its crackdown.

"If this continues, it may turn into civil war," he said in Cairo, where the league is based.

The United Nations estimates more than 5,000 people have been killed since the uprising began in March.

British Prime Minister David Cameron called the bloodshed appalling and urged the Russian government to reconsider its stance in support of "someone who has turned into such an appalling dictator."

Russia, a traditional Syrian ally, has blocked a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Assad's regime and threatening sanctions.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 20,000 people demonstrated Friday in the northwestern province of Idlib. Security forces fired on protesters there as well as in the southern province of Daraa, the eastern region of Deir el-Zour and the central province of Homs, all centers of frequent protests.

Comments
Cost climbs by $2.8 billion for California bullet train

Cost climbs by $2.8 billion for California bullet train

Cost estimate jumps by $2.8 billion for California's high-speed rail project, a 35 percent increase
Updated: 11 minutes ago
Wall Street executive replaces Christie, targets Trump

Wall Street executive replaces Christie, targets Trump

Phil Murphy, a Democratic former Obama administration diplomat and Goldman Sachs executive, takes over the New Jersey governor's office from Republican Chris Christie
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Missouri governor says affair won't deter him from work

Missouri governor says affair won't deter him from work

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is reaffirming his intent to remain on the job despite new calls for him to resign
Updated: 13 minutes ago
In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

In major shift, House bill would turn three USF universities into one

Separate accreditation has long been a point of pride and a stamp of independence for the St. Petersburg and Sarasota-Manatee branches of the University of South Florida.Graduates of those schools frame diplomas bearing the name of their own universi...
Updated: 14 minutes ago
Winter storm hits South with more snow, frigid temperatures

Winter storm hits South with more snow, frigid temperatures

Ice and snow turned travel treacherous across the South, shutting down interstates in Louisiana, causing highway crashes in Kentucky and closing airport runways in Texas as snow turned the red clay white and prompted schools to close across the region
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Video captures basketball game between kids, St. Petersburg officers

Video captures basketball game between kids, St. Petersburg officers

ST. PETERSBURG — Teamwork wins games, they say. And basketball can bridge gaps.That’s what makes the Facebook video of three St. Petersburg police officers playing a game of pickup in the street against three kids so compelling. The officers, who wer...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

The Latest: Pope Francis has met with a small group of Chilean victims of sex abuse by priests
Updated: 1 hour ago
Bangladesh, Myanmar aim to finish Rohingya return in 2 years

Bangladesh, Myanmar aim to finish Rohingya return in 2 years

Bangladesh and Myanmar have agreed they will try to complete the repatriation of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslim refugees who fled from violence in Myanmar within two years
Updated: 1 hour ago
Parents say college student killing may have been hate crime

Parents say college student killing may have been hate crime

The parents of a 19-year-old University of Pennsylvania student killed and buried in a California park said Tuesday that the killing may have been a hate crime against their gay son
Updated: 1 hour ago
California couple's ordinary home held torture chamber

California couple's ordinary home held torture chamber

Authorities say the home of a California couple accused of severely abusing their 13 children looked orderly from the outside
Updated: 1 hour ago