Monday, April 23, 2018

Syria accused of dropping cluster bombs at rebels

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian government was accused Sunday of dropping cluster bombs — scattershot munitions banned by most nations — in a new sign of desperation and disregard for its own people, activists said.

The international group Human Rights Watch cited amateur video and testimony from the front lines in making the allegation against the government of President Bashar Assad.

Syria and Turkey, meanwhile, declared their skies off-limits to each other amid mounting cross-border tensions in Syria's 19-month-old conflict. Turkey is outspoken about backing the rebels trying to oust Assad.

The weekend's mutual ban on overflights is part of Turkey's increasingly assertive stance toward Syria that has stirred concerns about a regional conflict. In the past two weeks, Turkey has retaliated for stray Syrian shells and mortar rounds landing inside Turkey and had intercepted a Syrian passenger plane on suspicion it carried military equipment. The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported Sunday that Turkey has sent more warships to naval bases north of the Syrian coastline.

Inside Syria, rebel fighters and government forces have been locked in a bloody stalemate for weeks, with rebels holding large rural stretches in the heavily populated western area but unable to dislodge Assad's troops from urban centers. During the summer, the government escalated shelling and airstrikes on rebel-held neighborhoods.

Human Rights Watch said new amateur videos and interviews with residents suggest the Syrian air force has dropped cluster bombs in the past week, mainly along a main north-south highway in western Syria that runs through Maaret al-Numan, a town captured by rebels after fierce fighting.

Cluster bombs open in flight, scattering smaller bomblets over a wide area. Many of the bomblets don't explode immediately, posing a threat to civilians long afterward.

Steve Goose, an arms expert for the New York-based human rights group, said most nations have already banned cluster bombs and that many of those who haven't, including the United States, said they would do so soon.

The Syrian government had no immediate comment.

Comments
Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

Former Rays pitcher Danny Farquhar “progressing well’ after surgery

As former teammates with the Rays and throughout baseball share thoughts and prayers, RHP Danny Farquhar is "progressing well" in a Chicago hospital after suffering a hemorrhage caused by a brain aneurysm on Friday.The White Sox on Monday released th...
Updated: 5 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for April 23

Monday’s scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 10, Citrus Park Christian 0Northeast 12, Countryside 5
Updated: 26 minutes ago

Tuesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.MLB; 1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMMarlins at Dodgers10 p.m.FSFCollege baseballCoastal Carolina at North Carolina6 p.m.ESPNUMississippi at Mississippi State7 p.m.SECCreighton at Nebraska7:30 p.m.Big ...
Updated: 28 minutes ago
Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

Man faces first-degree murder charge in 2017 death of woman

TAMPA — A 68-year-old man was arrested Monday on a first-degree murder charge, according to Tampa police.Officers took James Leon Jackson into custody at 2712 W Nassau St. in west Tampa at about 1 p.m. A warrant for his arrest had been issued Friday....
Updated: 1 hour ago
A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

A new museum will honor America’s lynching victims, including those killed in Tampa Bay

In May 1914, a Hernando County grand jury decided not to indict John Davis, a black man accused of attempting to assault a white woman in a hotel. But days after he was released from the Citrus County jail, Davis’s body was found beaten with a ...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 11:13 p.m. EDT

AP Top News at 11:13 p.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Arizona governor pushes for teacher pay deal as strike looms

Arizona governor pushes for teacher pay deal as strike looms

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is pushing lawmakers to approve big teacher raises as school districts make plans to close if educators who call his proposal insufficient launch the first-ever statewide strike this week
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Panel approves Pompeo for secretary of state

The Latest: Panel approves Pompeo for secretary of state

President Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, has cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee with a favorable recommendation, narrowly avoiding a rare rebuke as his confirmation heads to the full Senate
Updated: 1 hour ago
Oregon knew of abuse case against family that went off cliff

Oregon knew of abuse case against family that went off cliff

Documents show that Oregon child welfare officials knew the family in an SUV that plunged off a California cliff had faced a child abuse investigation in another state when it looked into allegations in 2013
Updated: 1 hour ago
Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

Alex Cobb and Logan Morrison have ex-Ray vision. Here’s what they see.

ST. PETERSBURG — Absolutely, Alex Cobb was saying over the phone, it's going to be weird pitching Tuesday against the Rays.The organization that he owes so much for rearing him since high school, standing by him through assorted injuries, enabl...
Updated: 2 hours ago