June 26, 2019  

Two new flags will be flying high at the Olympic Games in Rio.

For the first time, South Sudan and Kosovo have been recognized by the International Olympic Committee. Kosovo, which was a province of the former Yugoslavia, will have 8 athletes competing; and a good shot for a medal in women's judo: Majlinda Kelmendi is considered a favorite. She's ranked first in the world in her weight class.

(South Sudan's James Chiengjiek, Yiech Biel & coach Joe Domongole, © AFP) South Sudan, which became independent in 2011, will have three runners competing in the country's first Olympic Games.

When Will Chile's Post Office's Re-open? 

(PHOTO: Workers set up camp at Santiago's Rio Mapocho/Mason Bryan, The Santiago Times)Chile nears 1 month without mail service as postal worker protests continue. This week local branches of the 5 unions representing Correos de Chile voted on whether to continue their strike into a 2nd month, rejecting the union's offer. For a week the workers have set up camp on the banks of Santiago's Río Mapocho displaying banners outlining their demands; framing the issue as a division of the rich & the poor. The strike’s main slogan? “Si tocan a uno, nos tocan a todos,” it reads - if it affects 1 of us, it affects all of us. (Read more at The Santiago Times)

WHO convenes emergency talks on MERS virus


(PHOTO: Saudi men walk to the King Fahad hospital in the city of Hofuf, east of the capital Riyadh on June 16, 2013/Fayez Nureldine)The World Health Organization announced Friday it had convened emergency talks on the enigmatic, deadly MERS virus, which is striking hardest in Saudi Arabia. The move comes amid concern about the potential impact of October's Islamic hajj pilgrimage, when millions of people from around the globe will head to & from Saudi Arabia.  WHO health security chief Keiji Fukuda said the MERS meeting would take place Tuesday as a telephone conference & he  told reporters it was a "proactive move".  The meeting could decide whether to label MERS an international health emergency, he added.  The first recorded MERS death was in June 2012 in Saudi Arabia & the number of infections has ticked up, with almost 20 per month in April, May & June taking it to 79.  (Read more at Xinhua)



Dreams and nightmares - Chinese leaders have come to realize the country should become a great paladin of the free market & democracy & embrace them strongly, just as the West is rejecting them because it's realizing they're backfiring. This is the "Chinese Dream" - working better than the American dream.  Or is it just too fanciful?  By Francesco Sisci

Baby step towards democracy in Myanmar  - While the sweeping wins Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy has projected in Sunday's by-elections haven't been confirmed, it is certain that the surging grassroots support on display has put Myanmar's military-backed ruling party on notice. By Brian McCartan

The South: Busy at the polls - South Korea's parliamentary polls will indicate how potent a national backlash is against President Lee Myung-bak's conservatism, perceived cronyism & pro-conglomerate policies, while offering insight into December's presidential vote. Desire for change in the macho milieu of politics in Seoul can be seen in a proliferation of female candidates.  By Aidan Foster-Carter  

Pakistan climbs 'wind' league - Pakistan is turning to wind power to help ease its desperate shortage of energy,& the country could soon be among the world's top 20 producers. Workers & farmers, their land taken for the turbine towers, may be the last to benefit.  By Zofeen Ebrahim

Turkey cuts Iran oil imports - Turkey is to slash its Iranian oil imports as it seeks exemptions from United States penalties linked to sanctions against Tehran. Less noticed, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in the Iranian capital last week, signed deals aimed at doubling trade between the two countries.  By Robert M. Cutler



CARTOON: Peter Broelman, Australia/BROELMAN.com.au)


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FLAG DESCRIPTION: three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and black; two small, green, five-pointed stars in a horizontal line centered in the white band; the band colors derive from the Arab Liberation flag and represent oppression (black), overcome through bloody struggle (red), to be replaced by a bright future (white); identical to the former flag of the United Arab Republic (1958-1961) where the two stars represented the constituent states of Syria and Egypt; the current design dates to 1980Capital | Damascus

Population | 22,517,750 (July 2010 est.)

Area | 185,180 SQ KM

Official Language | Arabic

Holidays | Independence Day, 17 April (1946)

Currency | Pound (SYP)

Time Zone | UTC +2

Best Time to Visit | March to May (Spring)

Connecting with the Culture | Experiencing the sun setting over the ruins of Palmyra, an ancient Roman city in a desert oasis. Taking in the sweeping views from the impregnable battlements of Crac des Chevaliers. Haggling for authentic Bedouin jewelry in Aleppo’s Ottoman-era souk. Visiting the early Christian monastery where Simeon the Stylite perched on a pillar for 32 years. Escaping the bustle of Damascus’ streets to the tranquil porticos of the Umayyad Mosque. Catching a performance at Bosra’s superbly preserved Roman theatre.

Read | Agatha Christie’s Come Tell Me How You Live—a light-hearted picture of archaeology and life in the desert in the mid-20th century.

Listen | to Farid al-Atrache – the Arabic Sinatra, a famous crooner of the 1940’s and ‘50s—or George Wasouf, the country’s biggest pop export.

Watch |  Dreams on the City, an evocative fictional study of Damascus, and The Nights of the Jackal, an engrossing study of the impacts of war and westernization on a family in small Syrian village.

Eat | mahalbiyeh—a dessert similar to blancmange, laced with orange-blossom essence, almonds and pistachios.

Drink | Chai (tea), served in small glasses and incredibly sweet.

In a Word | Marhaba (hello)

Characteristics | Call to prayer; hair raising taxi rides; men in galibeyahs; women in abayas; Carlos the Jackal; ancient ruins; posters of the president.

Surprises | Syria has the oldest continually occupied cities in the world; families with 10 children or more get free public transport for life; vintage American cars in good condition fill the streets.


UN Wives Call Out Syria's First Lady as `By-Stander'

(HN, 4/19/12) - The wives of 2 UN ambassadors from Germany, Huberta von Voss-Wittig & Sheila Lyall Grant wife of the UK diplomat have produced a video released on Youtube appealing to Syria's 1st  lady, Asma al-Assad to "care more for your people & less for your style".  The presentation contrasts the luxury lifestyle of 37-year-old Asma, mother of 3, former investment banker - who  last year (February, 2011) was profiled in Vogue magazine - with images of dead & injured Syrian children; asking viewers to sign a petition demanding the UK-born first lady (whose Sunni parents originally hail from Homs) speak out.

(PHOTO: Vogue, 2011 profile of Asma Assad. `A Rose in the Desert'/The Atlantic) "Stop being a bystander" taunts the video, with calls to "stop your husband".  The video includes an archive clip of Asma, telling an audience, "We should all be able to live in peace, stability & with our dignities"; then asking  "What happened to you, Asma?" The video follows a similar online appeal from human rights group Rise 4 Humanity. Asma & Bashar al-Assad, President of Syria, were shown on Syrian state TV Wednesday packing food aid, for victims of fighting in Homs where the president's forces are crushing an uprising in defiance of a UN brokered ceasefire agreement - in full view of international observors deployed to the country on Monday. (Read more at SMH)

Syria refugees scatter to neighboring nations

(Video Euronews/Lebanon) 

(HN, 4/15/12) - Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon at 2am Friday morning to tell him of intensifying military attacks & a notable increase of refugees at the Syria border; more than 2,800 people fled fighting Thursday, more than double the highest previous 1-day total. They crossed near the Turkish village of Bukulmez, officials said, & were waiting on the other side. 44 minibuses took the arrivals to a refugee camp at Reyhani.

(Video AlJazeera/Jordan)

There were reports of a mass grave nearby after days of shelling by Syrian helicopters & Turkey is urging the UN to send officials to evaluate the situation, asking the body to play a “more active role” as the supposedly agreed upon deadline for a withdrawal of forces draws near, April 10 - allowing humanitarian aid to reach Syrians; almost 10,000 of whom have died since the uprising began in mid-March 2011.

(Video Telegraph/Turkey)

Earlier Kofi Annan the UN-Arab League envoy, told the UN general assembly by video link from Geneva that Syrian authorities had assured him this week that troop withdrawals were under way tho events Friday showed violence raging in many parts of the country.  The total official UN numbers of Syrian refugees has reached 42,000 - while unofficial numbers say as many as 130,000 - in Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya & Iraq. Turkey has 23,000 now with capacity for 45,000 according to officials.

UN Observers arrive in Syria amid continuing violence

(PHOTO: Colonel Ahmed Hommich, a member of a UN monitoring team, speaks to the media at a hotel in Damascus yesterday./Khaled al- Hariri, SMH)(HN, 4/14/12) - Syrian forces were locked in fierce gunfights with rebels in 1 city & shelled another yesterday, just hours after the first UN peacekeepers arrived to oversee a truce aimed at ending a year of bloodshed. President Bashar al-Assad's forces killed 2 civilians in the central city of Hama & were fighting rebels at Idlib in the NW, while also shelling the flashpoint city of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. An advance team of 6 international observers arrived in Damascus late Sunday.  The delegation - the first of 30 monitors the UN Security Council approved Saturday - will set up a headquarters & prepare routines so the mission can verify a full cessation of hostilities. The next 25 would come from missions around the Middle East & Africa; with a planned total eventually of 200 monitors on the ground.   Their mission is just 1 part of the 6-point peace plan that Assad agreed to with the UN-Arab League envoy, Kofi Annan including humanitarian corridors & an election timetable none of which is possible without peace.  (Read more at SMH)

Syria: Day 2 P6PP {Post 6 Point Plan}


(Video Al Jazeera)

(HN, 4/13/12) - Syrian authorities are being asked to respect the ceasefire today after forces shot dead 3 anti-government protesters on the 2nd day of an agreement to end violence in the country - as tens of thousands of people demonstrated against President Bashar al-Assad. Security forces were out in strength according to activists, to control anti-Assad rallies, demanding protesters obtain permits.

(PHOTO: 4.13.12/Youtube)1 demonstrator was killed in Assi square in the city of Hama when government forces opened fire & another protester was shot dead after leaving a mosque to join anti-Assad protests in the village of Nawa, in the southern province of Daraa, said the Britain-based Observatory for Human Rights. UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's `6-point plan' went into effect Thursday morning tho heavy weapons still remain in cities after a bloody 13-month conflict. An advance team of about a dozen UN observers is ready to enter Syria & are "standing by to board planes" once the UN Security Council approves the mission, Annan's spokesman, Ahmad Fawzi told a news conference.  The fighting has killed an estimated 9,000 people.

(PHOTO: Turkish PM Erdogan with King Abdullah II/AA) Meanwhile, Turkey's PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan met in Saudi Arabia today with King Abdullah II & Jordanian FM Nasser Judeh  met with Turkish FM Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul to discuss the regional situation. Saudi Arabia, with Qatar, has been the leading champion of arming rebel fighters in their battle. In statements, all appealed for aid to Syrian refugees. The humanitarian situation continues to increase in severity with about 25,000 Syrians staying in Turkey; approximately 6-7 thousand  living in camps at the Syrian-Jordanian border. On Friday, UNHCR began to send tents & blankets for Syrians in Hatay, Turkey & the Turkish Red Crescent has set up 7 tent-sites in Hatay's  Yayladagi, Reyhanli & Altinozu & in the southeastern provinces of Kilis, Gaziantep & Sanliurfa.

Iran's Jalili Tells Kofi Annan `Commitment to democracy, best solution to Syria crisis'

(PHOTO: Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Saeed Jalili (R) confers with UN-Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, in Tehran on Wednesday, 4.11.12/PRESSTV)(HN, 4/11/12) - UN-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan said Wednesday in Tehran that Iran could help solve the crisis in Syria, where fresh violence erupted a day before an international cease-fire is to take effect.  ``Iran, given its special relations with Syria, can be part of the solution,'' Annan said during a news conference with Iran's FM Ali Akbar Salehi who insisted that, "Change in Syria should come under the leadership of Assad""Free parliamentary elections must be held in line with the country’s reformed constitution & an elected government should be formed by the parliament", said Saeed Jalili Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council (SNSC).

(PHOTO: Kofi Annan is welcomed by Syrian refugee children upon his arrival at Yayladagi refugee camp in Hatay province, Turkey, Tuesday/CSM) Syria's regime defied a Tuesday deadline to pull troops from cities & towns that was agreed in a deal brokered by Annan & launched fresh attacks on rebel areas. In a letter to the UN Security Council Tuesday Annan said that Syria has not pulled troops & heavy military equipment out of cities & towns as promised, & that the regime's last-minute conditions put the entire cease-fire at risk. Though, he remained hopeful a 6a Thursday local time ceasefire deadline would produce, "a much improved situation on the ground''.  Earlier Wednesday envoy Annan visited with Syrian refugees in Turkey where more violence Wednesday brought the continuing conflict to parts of villages & towns near the Turkish border.  Annan will also meet with other senior Iranian officials, including President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad(Read more at the Daily Star)

With Pullout Looming in Syria, Violence ongoing, Turkey says Deadline `Void'

(Video: Telegraph)

(HN, 4/10/12) - Less than 12 hours before the Tuesday 6AM troop pullout deadline, the bloody conflict in Syria began Monday with the violence many people were fleeing inside its borders, spreading to Turkey & Lebanon; wounding at least 5 people inside the Turkish camp near the town of Kilis in the SW Gaziantep province (rebels who were apparently trying to escape to the refugee camp after ambushing a military checkpoint); & with the killing of Ali Shaaban a cameraman for the Al Jadeed television station who was filming in Lebanon's northern Wadi Khaled area. Al Jadeed said in a Twitter post that Syrian security officials dressed in civilian clothes fired more than 40 bullets at their staff, who were on Lebanese soil. The violence came after a weekend of conflict as a UN-brokered truce plan by envoy Kofi Annan was set to take effect Tuesday morning & a deadline for cessation of violence inside Syria loomed for April 12th. But President Bashar Assad's government Sunday introduced a new, last-minute demand - saying forces cannot withdraw without written guarantees from opposition fighters that they will lay down their arms first.  Syria's main rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, rejected the government's demand but said it will abide by its promise under Annan's plan to stop fighting - as long as the regime does too. Turkey's deputy foreign minister, Naci Koru, said bluntly that the 6am morning deadline was now "void". According to the UN, 9,000 people have been killed in Syria over the last 13 months.

Syrian Red Crescent Center in Homs Burns to Ground

(PHOTO: Red Crescent center in Homs, Syria/Jerusalem Post) (HN, 4/2/12) - Reports say Syria's Red Crescent distribution center in Homs, burned to the ground on Wednesday. There are conflicting reports about what caused the fire with some activists saying the building burst into flames after shelling in the neighborhood of Qarabees.  But a source close to Syrian Red Crescent officials say unknown saboteurs set fire to the building, which had been a warehouse for a government company before being donated to the Red Crescent as an aid distribution center, which was reportedly supposed to make a supply distribution today.  The International Federation of the Red Cross negotiated for weeks with the government of President Bashar al-Assad & rebels to ensure a steady supply of aid & medical care could reach violence-hit areas such as the district of Baba Amr & the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross, Jakob Kellenberger has been in Syria the past few days seeking greater access.  Despite agreeing to a UN set deadline of April 10 for a ceasefire, violence in the country has continued, killing dozens of civilians daily. A UN advance team is set to arrive in the country tomorrow. (Read more at the Hindustan Times)

Syria reportedly accepts UN Peace Plan, while Assad tours Homs 

(Video: Syrian Scenes via Syria TV)    

(HN, 3/25/12) - A spokesman for Kofi Annan, the UN-Arab League envoy on Syria says the violence wracked nation has accepted his plan to end bloodshed in the country & the year long uprising in which more than 8,000 people are believed to have died. He told reporters after meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in Beijing on Tuesday that he had received a "positive" response from Syria as well as a similar commitment from Russia over the weekend.

(PHOTO: Syrian refugees at Reyhanli refugee camp on the Turkish-Syrian border 3/5/12/QaafAid)Mr. Annan made trips to China & Russia in recent days - crucial nations to the Syria peace process; both had opposed vote resolutions at the UN imposing sanctions on the government of President Bashar al-Assad for human rights violations against civilians - particularly in the city of Homs & its neighborhood Baba Amr, which Syrian State TV shows Assad touring just today. And, Lebanon says Syrian military troops crossed it border to fight rebels who had advanced north. The 2 countries called the UN resolutions "unbalanced", saying they only blamed the Syrian government & demanded an end to government attacks; but not ones by the opposition. It is not clear if the Syrian rebels have accepted Annan's peace plan.

(PHOTO: Naharnet)Annan's plan has been endorsed by other UN Security Council members, which includes a cease-fire by the Syrian government, a daily 2-hour halt to fighting to evacuate the injured, & Syrian-led political talks to address the concerns of the Syrian people. About 60 countries, including the US, are to attend a "Friends of the Syrian People" conference in Istanbul this Sunday & comes at a time when Turkey is edging closer to setting up a buffer zone in Syria to protect civilians & deal with fleeing refugees.  China FM spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that China was invited but would not attend. 

EU Places Travel Ban on Syrian First Lady

(PHOTO: Asma al-Assad, Syrian First Lady/FREEREPUBLIC) (HN, 3/22/12) - The European Union imposed a travel ban & froze the assets of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's British-born wife Asma al-Assad & the president's mother, sister, & 8 government officials on Friday; effective Saturday, tho UK officials say the EU ban can't stop the Syrian first lady from traveling to Britain.  The sanctions come amid reports of leaked emails saying Mrs. Assad went on lavish shopping sprees as Syria descended into violence & as the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council toughened its stance on Syria with a sharp condemnation of the "escalating violence"; voting 41 to 3 in favor of an EU-sponsored resolution backed by the US & Arab countries. China, Russia & Cuba voted against the measure.  Amnesty International called on UN special envoy Kofi Annan to include the monitoring of human rights abuses in his 6-point peace plan backed by the UN Security Council earlier this week. (Read more at VOA)

UN Security Council Endorses Syria Peace Plan

(PHOTO: Kofi Annan (R) meeting Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi on 3/20/12 at the United Nations offices in Geneva/UN Information Services)(3.21.12) - The United Nations Security Council has adopted a statement supporting UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan's plan to try to end Syria's year-long unrest. The statement said Syria will face "further steps" if Mr. Annan's 6-point peace proposal is rejected. The plan calls for a cease-fire, political dialogue between the government & opposition, & access for humanitarian aid agencies.  The New York-based council's 15 members including Russia & China agreed on the statement by consensus at 10 am local time, an hour after a deadline expired for potential objections to the language. (Read more at VOA)

Assad sets May 7 as date for parliamentary vote in Syria

U.N.-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan arrived in Damascus on Saturday to press President Bashar al-Assad for a political solution to Syria’s year-long uprising. (3.15.12) - Syria’s embattled President Bashar al-Assad issued a decree on Tuesday setting May 7 as the date for parliamentary elections, the state news agency SANA reported. The announcement came after international mediator Kofi Annan said he would be expecting a response from the embattled Syrian regime on proposals he presented in an effort to halt a year of bloodshed. (READ MORE from ALARABIYA)

Fleeing violence, nearly 500 Syrians pour into Turkey

Turkish medics and a Syrian man carry a newly arrived injured Syrian refugee boy to a waiting ambulance in Hacıpaşa village in Hatay on March 12, 2012(3.13.12) - At least 489 Syrians crossed into Turkey on Tuesday fleeing violence from Syria's northwestern town of Idlib as the Syrian military’s operations continue in the city. This marks the highest number of Syrian refugees to cross into Turkey in a single day. The Syrian military has recaptured the northern opposition stronghold of Idlib near the Turkish border, a major base that military defectors had held for months. (READ MORE from TODAY'S ZAMAN)

Envoys to Syria, Finally

(PHOTO: Valerie Amos, UNOCHA Chief/UNOCHA) (HN, 3/5/12) - The UN's humanitarian chief, Valerie Amos, is to start a 3-day visit to Syria on Wednesday. Syria had previously blocked repeated requests by Amos to visit the country, but appears to have backed down after the intervention of Russia.  

(PHOTO: Kofi Annan/Wikipedia) (HN, 3/5/12) - The UN/Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, will travel to Damascus on Saturday for talks aimed at trying to end almost a year of violence. Annan's office said: "The purpose of his first visit is to seek an urgent end to all violence & human rights violations, & to initiate the effort to promote a peaceful solution to the Syrian crisis."  (Read More at The Guardian)

Syria's worsening humanitarian crisis

(Video: Al Jazeera) 

(HN, 3/5/12) - The outside world's attention has recently been focused on Homs and the attempts to get Red Cross aid into Baba Amr. But a far worse - and much wider - humanitarian crisis is taking place across Syria. Laurence Lee of Al Jazeera reports.

Kofi Annan named UN Syria envoy

(PHOTO: Kofi Annan/Wikipedia)Kofi Annan, the former UN secretary-general, last week was appointed joint special envoy on Syria for Ban Ki-moon & Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby & granted a mandate to halt the violence, end human rights abuses, & help promote a peaceful political settlement of a crisis that has already claimed well over 5,000 lives.  The appointment places a high-profile diplomat with extensive experience in the region, & a history of dealings with President Bashar al-Assad, to help halt the spiraling violence in Syria. This will be Annan's first major diplomatic troubleshooting effort since 2008, when he led an African Union mediation effort aimed at ending a post-election civil war in Kenya.  As secretary-general, Annan worked closely with President Assad. In her book `No Higher Honor', former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice credited Annan with persuading the Syrian government not to block a cease-fire agreement ending the 2006 war between Israel & Hezbollah. 

Whereabouts of journalists wounded in Syria unconfirmed

(PHOTO: Edith Bouvier, Paul Conroy/EURONEWS)(HN, 2/29/12) - The fate of French journalist Edith Bouvier wounded in Syria is unclear after conflicting reports about whether or not she has been smuggled out of Homs. Neither the French government nor the paper she works for, Le Figaro, can confirm what has happened to her.  British photographer Paul Conroy working for the Sunday Times, also wounded has been covertly taken to neighbouring Lebanon & Bouvier may be there too.  Both were hurt in an attack in Homs last Wednesday along with 2 other journalists - Javier Espinosa & William Daniels -  during journalists, American Marie Colvin & French photographer Remi Ochlik were killed.   (Read More at EURONEWS)

Syria `Friends' Conference Underway; Differing Opinions on Way Forward

(PHOTO: Al Arabiya) (HN, 2/25/12) - More than 60 nations gathered in Tunis for the 1st `Friends of the Syrian People' conference, amid continuing violence in the flashpoint city of Homs; & a growing global outcry over the deaths of thousands of civilians.  The conference of Arab & Western foreign ministers was marked by the absence of Russia & China (who previously voted no to a UNSC resolution); & an early draft of the meeting’s statement said it could call for the Syrian government “to implement an immediate ceasefire and to allow free and unimpeded access by the U.N.... and humanitarian agencies.” Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki told the inaugural session the Arab League should send a peacekeeping force to help end President Bashar al-Assad’s crackdown & Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani agreed, along with opening secure humanitarian corridors to bring aid to the Syrian people.

(PHOTO: Demonstrators at Friends of Syria summit/TUNISIALIVE) Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby called on the U.N. Security Council to issue an urgent resolution calling for a ceasefire in Syria. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called on the world to find ways to deny the Syrian government “the means with which to perpetrate atrocities against the Syrian people.”  US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that Assad will “pay a heavy cost” for ignoring international will, announcing the U.S. will give $10 million to “scale up” Syria humanitarian efforts. In disagreement, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal left the meeting after saying in a speech that focusing on humanitarian aid to Syria was “not enough”.  The International Committee of the Red Cross has been working to evacuate the wounded, who are stranded in Homs amid continuing violence. Protestors in Tunis stormed the conference site. (READ MORE at AL ARABIYA)

Journalists Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik die in Homs

On Tuesday, Marie Colvin said the bombardment of Baba Amr had been "unrelenting" (BBC)(HN, 2/22/12) - Two prominent Western journalists have been killed in the Syrian city of Homs in the latest violence in the besieged city which left 20 people dead. (READ MORE from the BBCOur very own @MikeyBBQ today on BBC World Service, World Have Your Say program on the extremely tragic passing of The Sunday Times journalist Marie Colvin & photographer Remi Olchik while reporting fr/ Homs in Syria. For those who missed it here's the link. Michael is @ 42:40. Christiane Amanpour also gives a fierce defense of war reporting. WHYS 60: Should journalists risk their lives for a story? Wed, 22 Feb 12. Do you expect journalists to risk their lives for a story?  http://bbc.in/yhs2m2