World News: Security Council condemns Assad's violent crackdown
THE United Nations Security Council has finally responded to the escalating violence in Syria, condemning President Bashar Assad's forces for attacking civilians and committing human rights abuses.
The trigger for the council to act after months of deadlock was the assault launched by the Syrian government over the weekend against the city of Hama, 130 miles north of Damascus, which has a history of defiance. The offensive by Syrian forces, backed by tanks and snipers, is continuing with reports of at least 100 dead in four days.
The presidential statement adopted by the Security Council calls on Syrian authorities to immediately end all violence and launch an inclusive political process that will allow the Syrian people to fully exercise "fundamental freedoms . . . including that of expression and peaceful assembly".
Assad's regime has been using force since mid-March to put down protests demanding reforms. Activists say 1700 civilians have been killed.
The Syrian leader has promised reforms, but the Council expressed regret at "the lack of progress" in implementing them.
Children worship a statue of the Snake God in Kathmandu as part of the, "Nagpanchami" Hindu festival in Nepal.
Police Academy star dead
Police Academy actor Bubba Smith has been found dead at his home in Los Angeles.
Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman Ed Winter said Smith, 66, was found at his Baldwin Hills home. Police spokesman Richard French said the death did not appear to be suspicious.
Neck device 'not a bomb'
A SUSPICIOUS device attached to a teenage girl's neck contained no explosives and appeared to be part of an "elaborate hoax", Australian police said today.
Bomb squad specialists worked for ten hours to free 18-year-old Madeleine Pulver from a bomb-like device she said was chained to her neck by a man who entered her home in Mosman, a Sydney suburb, yesterday afternoon. Miss Pulver was not hurt and officials managed to free her at around midnight local time.
China hits out at Japan fears
China has expressed "strong dissatisfaction" after Japan said it was concerned with its increasing naval activity in waters surrounding its shores.
A Foreign Ministry spokesman said China's defence and military modernisation drive was for safeguarding its own sovereignty, security and territory.
Ten killed in copter crash
A HELICOPTER chartered by an Australian mining company slammed into a mountain in eastern Indonesia, killing all ten passengers and crew.
The Bell 412 lost contact with authorities yesterday just minutes after take-off from the city of Manado on Sulawesi island.
Bus runs over robbed passengers
Nigeria: A bus driver ran over and killed 14 travellers who had been ordered to lie in the middle of a road after their own bus was robbed.
Robbers stopped an overnight bus and made passengers disembark and lie down on the busy road. Another bus then ran over them and drove off without stopping.
United States: A teenage boy is recovering after he was pulled from under about 5ft of sand that collapsed on him at Newport Beach, California.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east