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Oct 14, 2012

Turkey bans Syrian planes from its air space, rebels gain

BEIRUT/AMMAN, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Turkey has banned all
Syrian aircraft from its air space as it takes an increasingly
firm stance against President Bashar al-Assad, while Syrian
rebels said on Sunday they had made more gains in a key province
near the Turkish border.

Human Rights Watch said Syrian government forces had dropped
Russian-made cluster bombs over civilian areas in the past week
as they battled to reverse rebel advances, an act which rights
groups say can constitute a war crime.

Oct 14, 2012

Assad forces accused of using cluster bombs as rebels gain

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian government forces have dropped Russian-made cluster bombs over civilian areas in the past week as they battle to reverse rebel gains on a strategic highway, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

Rebels surrounded an army garrison on Sunday near a northwestern town, in the latest push to seize more territory in a province near the Turkish border, opposition activists said. Rebels also posted video on the Internet purportedly showing a fighter jet they had shot down in the area the previous day.

Oct 14, 2012

Assad forces use cluster bombs as rebels gain-rights group

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian government forces have dropped Russian-made cluster bombs over civilian areas in the past week as they battle to reverse rebel gains on a strategic highway, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.

The bombs were dropped from planes and helicopters, with many of the strikes taking place near the main north-south highway running through the northwestern town of Maarat al-Numan, HRW said in a report.

Oct 12, 2012

War intensifies across Syria, refugee crisis deepens

BEIRUT, Oct 12 (Reuters) – Rebels battled to hold onto
Syria’s main north-south highway on Friday as government forces
fought insurgents on several fronts across the country.

The rebels captured an air defence base east of Syria’s
biggest city, Aleppo, and government forces unleashed air
strikes and artillery bombardments on the western city of Homs,
activists said.

Jul 16, 2012

Paul Simon fetes Graceland with London extravaganza

LONDON (Reuters) – Singer-songwriter Paul Simon celebrated the 25th anniversary of his classic album “Graceland” with an African musical extravaganza in London on Sunday night, any lingering memories of the controversy over its creation in apartheid-era South Africa swept away.

Simon reunited the original Graceland band led by Soweto guitarist Ray Phiri for the Hard Rock Calling festival and brought along Ladysmith Black Mambazo, the Zulu acapella group whose original rendering of the song “Homeless” shot them to worldwide fame.

Jul 15, 2012

Springsteen storms through London marathon

LONDON (Reuters) – An epic Bruce Springsteen concert in London’s Hyde Park ended on Saturday with organisers pulling the plug with the singer and ex-Beatle Paul McCartney still on stage and playing at full throttle after more than three hours of music.

Springsteen had danced and worked the crowd with the energy of a man of half his 62 years, running through most of his classics before being joined by McCartney to rip through the Beatles’ “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Twist and Shout”.

Jun 30, 2012

Pessimism clouds start to Syria talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – International talks on a way to resolve the increasingly bloody conflict in Syria opened in Geneva on Saturday with foreign powers in dispute over the fate of President Bashar al-Assad.

Kofi Annan, the former U.N. chief who is special international envoy on Syria, has been hoping for consensus on a plan for a unity government that, by excluding from the leadership figures deemed too divisive, would effectively mean Assad stepping down.

Jun 15, 2012

African beats come to London, with help from Brazil

LONDON (Reuters) – If African music is often wildly joyful and uplifting, its myriad variations were largely born from a history of slavery and suffering, imperialism and immigration.

It’s a songline that stretches from South African townships to the Mississippi cotton fields and the favelas of Brazil to the streets of Brixton.

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.

    • 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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