Israel prepares for more violence along border with Syria

MAJDAL SHAMS, Golan Heights

Israel prepares for more violence along border

Syria and Israel traded accusations Monday over the death toll in Sunday's shootings along the border as pro-Palestinian demonstrators promised another attempt to storm across the border today.

Syrian police said they blocked dozens of demonstrators on Monday. But Israel accused Syria of stoking the border tensions in hopes of diverting attention from its murderous campaign against antigovernment protesters.

Syrian officials said 24 people were killed and 350 wounded Sunday when hundreds of protesters tried to cross the border fence and Israeli troops opened fire. Israeli officials expressed doubt over the figures, saying they thought the death toll was about 10.

The United States on Monday faulted Syria for the confrontations. "Israel, like any sovereign nation, has a right to defend itself," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.

In the U.S.

Santorum joins GOP race for president: Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, 53, entered the race for the Republican presidential nomination Monday with an attack on the 2010 federal health care law, which will require nearly everyone to buy coverage by 2014. Santorum said President Barack Obama "took that faith that the American public gave him and wrecked our economy and centralized power in Washington, D.C., and robbed people of their freedom."

New solicitor general: The Senate confirmed White House lawyer Donald Verrilli Jr. to succeed Justice Elena Kagan as U.S. solicitor general. With the 72-16 vote, Verrilli will fill a post vacated when the Senate voted Kagan to her Supreme Court seat last August. The solicitor general represents the executive branch of government before the Supreme Court.

top economic adviser quits: For the second time in less than a year, the White House is looking for a new head of the Council of Economic Advisers after Austan Goolsbee said late Monday that he's leaving the post to return to academia.

Strauss-Kahn pleads not guilty: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the French politician and former head of the International Monetary Fund who is charged with attempting to rape a maid at a New York hotel, formally told a judge Monday in a Manhattan court that he was innocent.

Elsewhere

Germany backtracks on E. coli source: In their second major retraction in a week, German officials said initial tests provided no proof that sprouts from an organic farm in northern Germany were the cause of a deadly E. coli outbreak. German officials had pointed to contaminated cucumbers from Spain as a possible cause.

Leftist wins Peru election: Ollanta Humala, 48, a leftist former army officer, has won Peru's presidency with 51.5 percent against 48.5 percent for Keiko Fujimori, daughter of disgraced ex-President Alberto Fujimori.

Times wires

Israel prepares for more violence along border with Syria 06/06/11 [Last modified: Monday, June 6, 2011 11:55pm]

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