- - Thursday, May 24, 2012


LONDON — An auction house in the Channel Islands canceled the auction of a vial containing dried blood residue said to be of former President Ronald Reagan.

The PFC Auction house said the item instead will be donated by the seller to the late president’s foundation for display.

Reagan’s family, his foundation and his surgeon had criticized the proposed sale as an invasion of his privacy.

The foundation Thursday expressed appreciation for the decision.

Online bidding on the item had reached about $30,000 when the sale was suspended. It had been set to conclude Thursday evening.


U.N.: Syrian forces, opposition committing crimes

GENEVA — Syrian government forces and anti-government armed groups are both carrying out unlawful killings, torturing opponents and abusing children in the 15-month-old uprising, a U.N.-appointed panel of human rights experts said Thursday, though it underlined that security forces are still responsible for the largest share of the violence.

The findings by the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria show a chilling pattern of abuses on both sides of a conflict that it says has become “increasingly militarized” despite U.N. cease-fire efforts.

The report is based on hundreds of interviews since March with victims and witnesses who fled the country.

Syria’s main opposition council, meanwhile, said it has accepted the resignation of its Paris-based president who earlier offered to step down amid mounting criticism of his leadership.

The three-member U.N. panel says the conflict has shifted and the government now faces armed and well-organized fighters bolstered by defectors.

The widespread human rights abuses by government forces occur “most often during large-scale, military attacks on specific locations known for hosting defectors and other anti-government sympathizers,” it says.


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