The battle for the city of Dera'a in southern Syria has become a test of an American pledge to give military support to rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad. After a string of defeats, the rebels have scored rare victories around Dera'a.
But in interviews,rebel commanders passing through neighboring Jordan say those gains could be lost without a dependable arms pipeline and promised U.S. support.
Yasser Aboud, a thin, intense former colonel in the Syrian army, commands the joint operations center for southern Syria.
To raise awareness about force-feeding, Yasiin Bey, the musician and actor formerly known as Mos Def, in a video voluntarily underwent the same procedure administered to prisoners who refuse solid food in political protest while they are held in Guantanamo Bay.
Credit Jim Watson / AFP/Getty Images
This image reviewed by the U.S. military shows the front gate of the "Camp Six" detention facility of the Joint Detention Group at the U.S. Naval Station in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
For centuries, the act of refusing food has turned human bodies into effective political bargaining chips. And so it's no surprise that the prisoners desperate to leave Guantanamo after, in some cases, nearly a dozen years there, have turned to hunger strikes on and off since 2005 to try to win their release.
As the Obama administration slow-walks a decision on whether to call the ousting of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi a coup, which would lead to an aid cut off, U.S. officials are also in the awkward position of trying to encourage the Muslim Brotherhood to accept Morsi's ouster and return to the political process. President Obama has spoken by phone to the leader of Qatar, which had bankrolled the Morsi government. He's also been talking to Gulf leaders who were quick to step in to help Egypt after the Islamist government was toppled.
A Moscow judge has found Sergei Magnitsky and his boss, investor William Browder, guilty of evading about $17 million in taxes. Trouble is, Magnitsky died in jail in 2009 and Browder is safe in Britain. The unusual exercise of trying a dead man seems to be an effort to rebut Browder's claims that Magnitsky was jailed in revenge for uncovering a $230 million tax fraud perpetrated by Russian officials. Magnitsky's supporters say he was beaten and mistreated during his year in pre-trial detention, and that he died from medical neglect.
In Lac Megantic, Quebec, locals are waiting impatiently for answers following Saturday's train explosion that left 50 people dead. The provincial government in Quebec is blasting the railroad at the center of this disaster for responding too slowly — and requesting more aid from Canada's federal government to help the rural town rebuild.