10 in TEN
65 people found executed in Aleppo
AT LEAST 65 people, apparently shot in the head, were found dead with their hands bound in a district of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo yesterday, activists said.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which says it provides objective information about casualties on both sides of Syria's war from a network of monitors, said the death toll could rise as high as 80. It was not clear who had carried out the killings. Activists posted a video of a man filming at least 51 muddied male bodies alongside what they said was the Queiq River in a rebel-held neighbourhood. - Reuters
Statements on wartime history to be reviewed
THE government is to review statements by previous administrations about wartime history, including a landmark 1995 apology, Education Minister Hakubun Shimomur says.
But the statements would not be rejected, only made "forward-looking".
Any move to renege on the 1995 apology would raise hackles in China and South Korea, where bitter memories of Japan's military aggression and colonisation run deep.
The government will also review guidelines for addressing sensitivities in textbooks. - Reuters
Suicide bomber strikes near presidential palace
A MAN blew himself up near the presidential palace yesterday, killing at least one soldier and wounding two others, a guard at the scene said.
Officials and palace guards said Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was abroad at the time of the blast and the prime minister, near whose house the explosion took place, was safe.
"The man blew himself up near a wall between the Ethiopian embassy and the Somali PM's residence," a guard said. The two buildings are inside a sprawling compound that also houses the presidential palace. - Reuters
Thousands in shelters after flooding
RESCUERS helped drivers escape swift floodwaters and used helicopters to pluck stranded people from rooftops in northeast Australia yesterday after torrential rains flooded thousands of homes and businesses, killed four and forced thousands to huddle in shelters.
Floodwaters peaked in most of the worst-hit areas by evening. - Sapa-AP
Former dictator to be tried for genocide
FORMER military dictator Efrain Rios Montt must stand trial for genocide in the killings of several hundred indigenous Maya nearly 30 years ago, a judge has ruled.
Rios Montt, 86, had enjoyed immunity as a member of congress until his final term ended in January 2012. The ruling cleared the way for a panel to hear the case against the retired general. - Sapa-dpa
Shutting of factories fails to clear pollution
BEIJING temporarily shut down 103 heavily polluting factories and took 30% of government vehicles off roads to combat dangerously high air pollution, but the capital's air remained hazardous yesterday.
Air quality hit 517 on an index kept by the US Embassy in Beijing, which described the pollution as "beyond index". Above 300 is considered hazardous. - Reuters
Woman accused of fatal subway push in court
A WOMAN accused of shoving an immigrant from India to his death from a New York City subway platform is expected in court.
Erika Menendez is being held on a charge of murder as a hate crime in the December 29 death of 46-year-old Sunando Sen. She has been found fit to stand trial and was expected to be arraigned later yesterday.
21 die as airplane plummets to earth
A PASSENGER plane crashed in thick fog near Kazakhstan's commercial capital, Almaty, yesterday and broke into pieces when it hit the ground, killing all 21 people on board.
A list published by the prosecutor-general's office showed there were 16 passengers and five crew on board.
The Canadian-built Bombardier Challenger CRJ-200 belonged to private Kazakh airline SCAT. It came down near the village of Kyzyl Tu.
"There was no fire, no explosion. The plane just plunged to the earth," Yuri Ilyin, deputy head of the city's emergencies department, said. - Reuters
Druglord repeatedly shot outside court
A CRIME boss nicknamed "The Beret" was shot and wounded as he entered a court in central Sofia yesterday to attend an appeal against his conviction for running a drug-trafficking gang.
Zlatomir Ivanov, 44, was shot four times in his legs, arm and stomach as he was entering the court in broad daylight to appeal his eight-year jail sentence, police said.
Ivanov and his bodyguard, who was also wounded, were taken to hospital, where Ivanov was to undergo surgery.
Local media say Ivanov is a former member of a special police force. - Reuters
Show puts Schwitters' 'rubbish' back in frame
SHEEP bones, nails, pegs, a scrubbing brush, a metal toy - all, according to avant-garde German artist Kurt Schwitters, are on a par with paint, and all appear in collages and sculptures in a London exhibition dedicated to his time in Britain in the 1940s.
"Schwitters in Britain" at the Tate Britain gallery aims to bring his works to a wider audience. Curators and journalists jokingly refer to Schwitters' art as "rubbish".
His use of everyday fragments was born out of a desire to create beauty from the ruins of German culture after World War 1. - Reuters