Clashes kill 25 people in Syria as more army officers join push to oust Assad
VIOLENCE sweeping across Syria killed 25 people yesterday, most of them in a battle between troops and a growing force of army defectors who have joined the movement to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
The worst violence was in the restive north-western city of Idlib. In pre-dawn clashes between regime forces and defectors seven soldiers and policemen were killed, as well as five defectors and three civilians.
More than 4,000 people have been killed since March.
France 'downsizes' embassy in Iran
France is temporarily downsizing its embassy in Iran and will bring some employees and their families home, French officials said yesterday. The decision was described as a preventative security measure, and comes in response to last week's attack on the British embassy in Tehran.
Pizzaman Cain quits presidential race
AMERICAN pizza tycoon Herman Cain last night said he was suspending his run for the Republican presidential nomination to avoid news coverage that hurt his family.
The coverage was largely comprised of allegations of sexual harassment against the multimillionaire. The news came five days after a woman claimed she and Mr Cain had conducted an affair for more than a decade
Islamic parties set to win in Egypt
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, emerging as the biggest winner in the first round of parliamentary elections, sought yesterday to reassure Egyptians that it would not sacrifice personal freedoms in promoting Islamic law.
The deputy head of the Brotherhood's new political party said the group is not interested in imposing Islamic values on Egypt, home to a sizable Christian minority and others who object to being subject to strict Islamic codes.
The new government will be announced on Wednesday.
Three Nato personnel die in blast
A roadside bomb killed three Nato service members yesterday in east Afghanistan, the US-led coalition said.
The exact location of the bombing was not disclosed, nor were the nationalities of the dead. So far this year, 519 Nato service members have been killed in Afghanistan.
'Get to the damn table' US tells Israel
AN ISRAELI spokesman yesterday blamed the Palestinian leadership for the deadlock in peace talks -- one day after US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta urged Israeli leaders to "just get to the damned table". He added that Israel could more actively attempt to mend ties with Turkey and Egypt, and reverse its isolation in the Middle East.