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Sources: US trains anti-Assad forces



Published: Tue, March 26, 2013 @ 12:00 a.m.

Sources: US trains anti-Assad forces

WASHINGTON

The United States is training secular Syrian fighters in Jordan in a bid to bolster forces battling President Bashar Assad’s regime and stem the influence of Islamist radicals among the country’s persistently splintered opposition, American and foreign officials said.

The training has been conducted for several months now in an unspecified location, concentrating largely on Sunnis and tribal Bedouins who formerly served as members of the Syrian army, officials told The Associated Press. The forces aren’t members of the leading rebel group, the Free Syrian Army, which Washington and others fear may be increasingly coming under the sway of extremist militia groups, including some linked to al-Qaida, they said.

Link found between gun, Colo. slaying

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.

Colorado corrections chief Tom Clements and his wife were watching television when the doorbell rang last Tuesday night. Clements opened the door and was shot to death.

“My life was changed forever,” Lisa Clements told hundreds of people, including corrections guards and officials from around the country, who gathered at a memorial service for her husband Monday.

Nearly a week after Clements’ death, investigators in Colorado say the gun suspect Evan Ebel used in a shootout with authorities in Texas is the same one used to kill Clements. However, they don’t know yet whether Ebel is the person who shot Clements, whether he acted alone and what motivated the slaying.

Britain to cut aid to immigrants

LONDON

Britain will crack down on the benefits available to immigrants, Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday, before EU working restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians are lifted in 2014.

In a major speech in Ipswich, Conservative leader Cameron said that people coming to Britain no longer could expect “something for nothing” and that access to benefits was “something migrants earn, not an automatic right.”

All three main parties have toughened their stance on immigration as opinion polls suggest that it will be one of voters’ top concerns in the run-up to an election due in 2015.

New charges in impersonation case

PHILADELPHIA

A French man accused of impersonating a pilot after sitting in an airliner cockpit at Philadelphia International Airport now faces federal charges.

The U.S. district attorney’s office says 61-year-old Philippe Jeannard, of La Rochelle, was charged Monday with using a fraudulent identity. He already faced state trespass, forgery and false impersonation charges.

Authorities say Jeannard was wearing a shirt with an Air France logo and carrying a counterfeit Air France ID card when he boarded a Florida-bound US Airways flight Wednesday.

2 pedestrians killed, 2 hurt in car crash

SEATTLE

Police say a driver who may have been under the influence of alcohol or drugs struck four pedestrians crossing a street Monday, killing two and critically injuring two others — a woman and the infant she was carrying.

The accident happened shortly after 4 p.m. in a residential neighborhood in north Seattle.

Seattle police spokesman Jeff Kappel said the driver of the vehicle, a 50-year-old Seattle man, was in custody and under investigation for possibly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Combined dispatches


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