World Bulletin/News Desk
Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, state media said on Sunday, in an exercise aiming at showcasing its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression".
Syrian television aired video of a variety of missiles being fired from launchers on land and from ships and showed the Syrian Defence Minister Dawud Abdallah Rahijia in attendance.
"Naval Forces conducted an operational live fire exercise on Saturday, using missiles launched from the sea and coast, helicopters and missile boats, simulating a scenario of repelling a sudden attack from the sea," Syrian news agency SANA said, adding manoeuvres would continue for several days.
Opposition figures have been calling for a no-fly zone and NATO strikes against Syrian forces, similar to those carried out in Libya last year which enabled rebel ground forces to end the rule of Muammar Gaddafi.
But while President Bashar al-Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent which has left thousands dead, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from the idea of direct military action.
Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.
More than 30 people were killed on Sunday during a government bombardment and clashes between Syrian forces and Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to oust Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Activists reported heavy shelling in residential areas of Deir al-Zor city and in Deraa province, the birthplace of the revolt near the Jordanian border.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said that residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir al-Zor province said rebels had taken control of a tank looted in combat for the first time and were using it to attack army positions.
In recent weeks, rebels have become more and more brazen in their attacks, holding small areas of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few miles from the presidential palace in Damascus.
Germany, the Netherlands and Britain have been hit this month by the H5N8 bird flu strain which has devastated flocks in Asia, mainly South Korea, earlier this year but has never been detected in humans
Healthcare workers have repeatedly gone on strike in Liberia and Sierra Leone over pay and dangerous working conditions
The Houthis have become the main political force in Western-allied Yemen since capturing the capital in late September.
SAARC summits bring together leaders from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Despite the beefed up military presence in Ferguson, a police car was torched near City Hall as darkness fell, and police fired smoke bombs and tear gas to scatter protesters
Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo told reporters at the conclusion of a two-day visit to Cuba that he requested that the 12 "be authorized to travel outside of Cuba."
Gnassingbe is currently on a three-day visit to Ghana for talks aimed at strengthening bilateral and trade relations.
A crucial week for Colombian peace talks amidst hostage liberations and rebel attacks.
George Galloway says that the wave of calls in European parliaments for recognizing the state of Palestine had its roots in 1982, when the Sabra and Shatila massacre took place during Israel's bloody invasion of Lebanon.
Amnesty International named the man as Osama al-Najjar, and said the "charade of a trial" showed what it called the authorities' intolerance of dissent.
Uganda's First Lady Janet Kataha Museveni said that despite "remarkable progress", there are still gaps.
Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Observatory, said 10 war planes struck at least 10 times in Raqqa, a stronghold of the ultra-hardline group ISIL
Ukrainian Foreign Ministry says Ukraine does not recognize alliance between Russia and self-proclaimed Republic of Abkhazia.
The court said that the CAA head cannot be sacked under Egypt's constitution.
Noor Hassan – a 21-year-old from Nablus – died and two others were injured when an Israeli bus rammed into them, an eyewitness said.
NBA superstars Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash: 'System kills young black men under the mask of law.'