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Syrian rebels make more gains in north



Published: Wed, December 26, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Syrian rebels make more gains in north

BEIRUT

Syrian rebels fully captured a northern town near the Turkish border Tuesday after weeks of heavy fighting and attacked a regime air base in a neighboring province, activists said.

The air base is in Aleppo province, where opposition fighters already have captured three other large military bases in recent months. Rebels also have laid siege to the international airport in the city of Aleppo, Syria’s commercial capital, and launched an offensive on the police academy near the city.

With steady rebel gains across the north, President Bashar Assad’s regime is having increasing difficulty sending supplies by land to Aleppo province, especially after rebels cut a major thoroughfare from Damascus. It is just another sign that the opposition is consolidating its grip across large swathes of territory in northern Syria near the Turkish border.

Iran media report new cyberattack

TEHRAN, Iran

An Iranian semi-official news agency said there has been another cyberattack by the sophisticated computer worm Stuxnet, this time on the industries in the country’s south.

Tuesday’s report by ISNA quoted provincial civil defense chief Ali Akbar Akhavan as saying the virus targeted a power plant and some other industries in Hormozgan province in recent months.

Akhavan said Iranian computer experts were able to “successfully stop” the worm.

Iran repeatedly has claimed defusing cyber worms and malware, including Stuxnet and Flame viruses that targeted the vital oil sector, which provides 80 percent of the country’s foreign revenue.

Tehran has said both worms are part of a secret U.S.-Israeli program that seeks to destabilize Iran’s nuclear program.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing a nuclear-weapons program, a charge Tehran denies.

Hero dog seems to have beaten cancer

DAVIS, Calif.

A veterinarian at the University of California, Davis, has some good news about a dog from the Philippines who became an international hero after sacrificing her snout to save two young girls.

After completing six weekly intravenous chemotherapy infusions, Kabang appears to have beaten the cancer she was suffering from, Gina Davis, the primary care veterinarian at the William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital in Davis, told the San Francisco Chronicle.

The dog, however, is still facing treatment for heartworms in her arteries before she can have the gaping wound on her face closed. Full treatment of that condition was put on hold during cancer therapy.

Israel to build more homes in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM

Israel has advanced the process of building 942 more settler homes in east Jerusalem under a new fast-track plan to tighten its grip on the territory, which the Palestinians claim as the capital of a future state.

A government planning committee on Monday moved the project to the advanced stage of asking contractors to submit bids to build them, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday. Once a bid is awarded, construction can begin on the project in the Gilo area, though it can take months, if not longer, to reach that point.

An additional 300 units can be built after further planning, said attorney Daniel Seidemann, an expert on Jerusalem construction who sees the building as an obstacle to peacemaking. About 40,000 Israelis live in Gilo.

Associated Press


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