- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
Briefly: Middle East
Fresh violence erupts, U.N. warns of civil war
BEIRUT — Syrian forces Tuesday renewed their assault on the city of Homs in what activists described as the heaviest shelling in days, as the U.N. human rights chief raised fears of civil war.
Troops loyal to President Bashar Assad have shelled Homs for more than a week to retake parts of the city captured by rebels. Hundreds are believed to have been killed since Saturday, and the humanitarian conditions in the city have worsened.
Homs was under “brutal shelling” Tuesday, the Local Coordination Committees activist group said, citing its network of witnesses.
With diplomatic efforts bogged down, the conflict in Syria is taking on the dimensions of a civil war, with army defectors clashing almost daily with soldiers.
Moroccan gets 3 years for anti-king video
RABAT — A Moroccan court has convicted a student of “violating the sacred values” of the kingdom and sentenced him to three years in prison after a video posted online showed him criticizing the king, the state news agency reported Tuesday.
In the 4-minute clip, Abdelsamad Haydour, 24, from the mountain town of Taza, 187 miles east of the capital, accused King Mohammed VI of oppressing his people and also called the monarch a dog, a dictator and a murder.
Morocco’s king once was constitutionally considered sacred, but under amendments passed in 2011 in response to pro-democracy protests, his person is now described as “inviolable and respect is due him.”
Official: U.S. sought chaos in Egypt
CAIRO — Stoking tensions with Washington, an Egyptian Cabinet minister has accused the United States of directly funding nonprofit groups to create chaos in the country following last year’s ouster of longtime leader and U.S. ally Hosni Mubarak.
According to comments published in state-owned newspapers on Tuesday, International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga made the remarks in testimony she gave in October to judges investigating allegations the groups used foreign funds to foment unrest.
Ms. Aboul Naga, a leftover from the Mubarak regime who has served in three interim governments formed since his ouster, has been leading the crackdown on the foreign groups.
Authorities last week referred 43 employees of nonprofit groups, including at least 16 Americans, to trial before a criminal court. The Americans include Sam LaHood, son of U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.
All 43 are banned from travel. No date has been set for their trial.
The crisis has soured relations between Egypt and the United States, which has threatened to cut off aid to Egypt - a total of $1.5 billion a year in military and economic assistance - if the issue is not resolved.
Israel OKs tourist center in tense Arab area
JERUSALEM — The Israeli government says it has given a hard-line Jewish group permission to build a new archaeological center in a tense Arab neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Interior Ministry spokeswoman Efrat Orbach said Tuesday that a Jerusalem planning committee approved the project this week. The public has 60 days to appeal.
The center is to be built in Silwan, an impoverished neighborhood next to Jerusalem’s Old City. Arab residents often clash with Israeli police and guards who protect 80 Jewish families who settled there.
The Palestinians claim East Jerusalem for their future capital. They say the development plan aims to cement Israel’s control over the area.
The center is planned by Elad, a pro-settler group that runs archaeological digs in Silwan.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
By Donald Lambro
Growth spikes are little more than trend-free anomalies
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- Tea partiers turn on Capitol Hill budget deal
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- Leon Panetta named as source of 'Zero Dark Thirty' scriptwriters information
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- American bourbon now better than Scottish whisky: U.K.-born expert
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
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