- - Monday, January 14, 2013


HAVANA — Cubans formed long lines outside travel agencies and migration offices in Havana on Monday, as a highly anticipated new law took effect ending the island’s much-hated exit visa requirement.

Most Cubans now are eligible to leave with just a current passport and national identity card, just like residents of other countries.

Control over who can travel now largely shifts to other governments that will make their own decisions about granting entry visas. Cubans, like citizens of most other developing countries, will still find it difficult in many cases to get visas from wealthier nations such as the U.S.


Police to create diplomatic security force

TRIPOLI — A special Libyan security force is being created to protect embassies and consulates after a wave of attacks by militants that highlights the serious deterioration in security over the past year, an official said Monday.

A brigadier general will lead the new force that will be made up of former rebels who have been integrated into the nation’s police force, Interior Ministry spokesman Magdi el-Urfi told The Associated Press.

The announcement of a new security force comes four months after a terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi that killed U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.


Airstrike kills 13 near Damascus

BEIRUT — A Syrian airstrike tore through a house in a rebellious suburb of Damascus on Monday, killing at least 13 people, including eight children, as the government ramped up its operations against the opposition strongholds ringing the capital, activists said.

Government forces have used warplanes and multiple rocket launchers over the past 24 hours in what activists described as some of the heaviest barrages of the Damascus region since President Bashar Assad’s regime launched an offensive in November to dislodge rebels from the capital’s outskirts.

The air raid struck a home with residents inside Monday in the suburb of Moadamiyeh, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and others said.


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