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Clashes, bombing mar cease-fire in Syria



Scattered clashes and reports of a deadly bombing near a Damascus children's playground marred the first day of a four-day cease-fire in the Syria conflict Friday. In most parts of the country, though, the level of violence appeared to subside because of the truce, called in deference to the most important Muslim holiday of the year, Eid al-Adha. The most brazen violation appeared to be a car bomb that exploded near what state television said was a children's playground in southern Damascus. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the blast killed five people and injured more than 30. The Syrian army announced Thursday that it would cease military operations from Friday to Monday. The cease-fire was negotiated by Lakhdar Brahimi, the envoy trying to inaugurate a peace process.


Two brothers held in killing of girl, 12

Two teenage brothers accused of killing a 12-year-old New Jersey girl were ordered Friday to remain in a juvenile detention center.

The hearing was the first court appearance for the teens since they were arrested Tuesday and charged with murdering Autumn Pasquale, who disappeared in her hometown of Clayton on Oct. 20. Because it was in family court, the hearing was closed to the public and the media.

Because they are juveniles, authorities have not released the boys' names. But neighbors and others in Clayton, a rural community located 25 miles south of Philadelphia, identify them as 17-year-old Dante Robinson and 15-year-old Justin Robinson.


Missing infant's body found in basement

Authorities recovered the body of a 10-month-old girl not far from where her grandmother was slain, and arrested a family friend who investigators said killed them in a botched ransom kidnapping.

Saanvi Venna's body was found around 4:30 a.m. Friday in the basement of a building in the same Upper Merion Township apartment complex where she lived. Investigators had been searching for her since Monday.

Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, killed Satyavathi Venna, 61, while trying to abduct the girl, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.


Sectarian violence leaves dozens dead

A resurgence of sectarian violence in western Myanmar has left more than 60 people dead, a local government official said Friday. The violence is renewing concerns that tensions could spread during a transition from authoritarian rule to democracy.

Reports from Rakhine state paint a picture of a chaotic and bloody week of clashes between Buddhist and Muslim communities that are increasingly segregated after thousands of Muslims, a minority in the country, fled to refugee camps during the last outbreak of violence in June.


Britain: The father of a Pakistani teenager shot in the head by the Taliban for her opposition to their hostility to education for girls said on Friday that she was "recovering at an encouraging speed" at the British hospital where she is being treated for her wounds.

China: A 23-year-old man on Friday became the fifth Tibetan in a week to set himself on fire and die in a county in far western China to protest against Chinese rule, the London-based Free Tibet said today.

Russia: Investigators on Friday filed charges against left-wing activist Sergei Udaltsov, making him the most prominent opposition figure to face prison under a Kremlin crackdown against the anti-Putin protest movement.

Times wires

Clashes, bombing mar cease-fire in Syria 10/26/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 27, 2012 12:22am]
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  1. Pinellas licensing board executive director settled hundreds of cases without getting his board's approval

    Local Government

    By Mark Puente

    Times Staff Writer

    Eleanor Morrison complained to the Pinellas licensing board in 2015 that her contractor installed crooked walls and windows and poured too much concrete for her carport.

    Eleanor Morrison poses at her home in Treasure Island, 5/26/17. Morrison filed a complaint with the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board and later learned that its former Executive Director, Rodney Fischer, dismissed the case in a private meeting with the contractor.
  2. Report: Kusher wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin


    Jared Kushner and Russia's ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Donald Trump's transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, U.S. …

    The name of Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's White House senior adviser, has come up as part of the Russia investigation. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays pitchers rave about Twins pitching coach, ex-mentor Neil Allen

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — There have been a lot of coaches who have had a hand in helping Chris Archer get to the big leagues and to the front of the Rays rotation, and as he took the mound Friday night at Target Field, he had reason to nod appreciatively toward the home dugout.

    Minnesota Twins pitching coach Neil Allen jogs back to the dugout after paying starting pitcher Tyler Duffey a visit on the mound in the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers on Thursday, July 7, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
  4. Swan sculpture deputies say was stolen by naked man found near Lakeland pond


    A $25,000 swan sculpture that Polk County sheriff's deputies say was stolen by a naked man last weekend was found near a pond in Lakeland on Thursday.

    A swan sculpture that was stolen in Lakeland on May 19 was recovered by the Polk Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
  5. Mayor Rick Kriseman says St. Petersburg mayoral election is about going forward, not back


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mayor Rick Kriseman christened his campaign office Friday evening by telling his supporters that the mayoral election was about moving forward, not backward.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman says mayoral election is about inclusiveness Friday at campaign office rally