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May 29, 2012

Western countries expel Syria envoys over killings

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States and seven other Western governments expelled Syrian diplomats from their capitals on Tuesday in a coordinated action against President Bashar al-Assad’s government spurred by revulsion over the killing of more than 100 civilians in a Syrian town.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius called Assad a murderer and Australia’s Bob Carr said those responsible for the massacre at Houla would be held to account.

Apr 26, 2012

Gypsy roots, desert blues, bluegrass top world music

LONDON (Reuters) – Sitar player Anouska Shankar, whose album “Traveller” takes a journey through the music of India and Spanish flamenco to explore their shared Gypsy roots, was named Best Artist in Songlines magazine’s annual world music awards.

At a time of political unrest in Mali, artists from there took two awards – veteran Sahara Desert bluesmen Tinariwen were named as Best Group while their young compatriot Fatoumata Diawara was Best Newcomer.

Apr 15, 2012

George Washington voted Britain’s greatest enemy commander

LONDON (Reuters) – American revolutionary leader George Washington has been voted the greatest enemy commander to face Britain, lauded for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory.

In a contest organised by the National Army Museum, Washington triumphed over Irish independence hero Michael Collins, France’s Napoleon Bonaparte, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel and Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

Feb 24, 2012

Syria conflict worries Beirut, reopens divisions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – People in the Lebanese capital Beirut are watching anxiously as the increasingly bloody conflict in neighboring Syria unfolds, fearing it could spill over the border and bring a return of the violence that tore their own country apart for so long.

Beirut has undergone a renaissance since the days when Muslim and Christian factions, as well as Palestinian guerrillas, clashed over a Green Line and foreign interlopers imposed their will with troops, tanks and warplanes.

Feb 23, 2012

Assad forces renew barrage on Syria’s Homs; reporters killed

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rained rockets and bombs down on opposition-held neighbourhoods of the city of Homs, reducing buildings to rubble and killing more than 80 people, including two Western journalists.

The barrages marked an intensification of a nearly three-week offensive to crush resistance in Homs, one of the focal points of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule, and prompted further international condemnation.

Feb 23, 2012

Assad forces renew barrage on Syria’s Homs

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rained rockets and bombs down on opposition-held neighborhoods of the city of Homs, reducing buildings to rubble and killing more than 80 people, including two Western journalists.

The barrages marked an intensification of a nearly three-week offensive to crush resistance in Homs, one of the focal points of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule, and prompted further international condemnation.

Feb 22, 2012

Assad forces try to bomb Homs into submission

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces rained rockets and bombs down on opposition-held neighborhoods of the city of Homs on Wednesday, reducing buildings to rubble and killing more than 80 people, including two Western journalists.

The barrages marked an intensification of a nearly three-week offensive to crush resistance in Homs, one of the focal points of a nationwide uprising against Assad’s 11-year rule and its ferocity has caused international outrage.

Feb 20, 2012

China paper says West stirs civil war in Syria

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A leading Chinese newspaper accused Western countries on Monday of stirring civil war in Syria, where police and militia patrols clamped down on a district of the capital to prevent new demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad.

After almost a year of protests against Assad’s 11-year rule, the uprising has moved to his centre of power in Damascus, where the security police surrounded a funeral of a young protester on Sunday to ensure there was no renewal of some of biggest demonstrations in the capital.

Feb 20, 2012

Syrian security forces clamp down on Damascus

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Police and militia patrols fanned out in the Syrian capital’s Mezze district on Sunday to prevent more protests like those that have threatened President Bashar al-Assad’s grip on Damascus, opposition activists said.

On the international front, China said it believed a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis was still possible but Britain’s foreign minister said he feared the Middle Eastern country would slide into civil war.

Feb 18, 2012

Syrian forces fire on anti-Assad crowd in capital

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian security forces fired live ammunition to break up a protest against President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Saturday, killing at least one person, opposition activists said.

A Chinese envoy met the Syrian leader earlier in the day and urged all sides to end 11 months of bloodshed, while backing a government plan for elections.

    • About Angus

      "Angus MacSwan has reported for Reuters for 25 years from Asia, Latin America, the United States, the Middle East, South Africa and the Balkans. He has covered events from the overthrow of President Marcos in the Philippines in 1986 to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. He stood next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu when he voted in South Africa's first free election and witnessed the arrival of the first prisoners to the U.S. camp in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba."
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