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September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
  
17 January 2013
J.D. Conor Mauro




Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al Assad walk on the rubble of damaged buildings and shops in the old city of Aleppo on 3 January. (photo: CNS/George Ourfalian, Reuters)

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Syria university explosion kills more than 80 (L.A. Times) Dozens of people died in two explosions minutes apart Tuesday at a university in the embattled northern city of Aleppo, a reminder of the Syrian conflict’s costly toll on ordinary citizens. At least 82 people, many on campus for midterm exams, were killed, according to separate accounts from rebels in Aleppo, government officials and a pro-opposition group. Videos posted on YouTube show students in winter clothes milling about minutes after the first blast occurred, when a second explosion sent a billowing, mushroom-like cloud into the sky. The explosions tore the facades off buildings, blew out windows, set cars ablaze and left bodies scattered across the grounds of Aleppo University, which has managed to stay open despite daily battles between the government and rebel forces since July. It was not known who was responsible for the blasts…

For those still in Syria, a daily struggle (N.P.R.) The situation for Syrian refugees is getting dire. Much has been reported about the worsening conditions for hundreds of thousands of Syrians taking up shelter just outside the country’s borders, but inside Syria, the numbers are even higher. The United Nations says some 2 million people have been displaced from their homes in Syria, and most of them end up squatting in mosques and schools. NPR’s Kelly McEvers spent a night in one of those schools, in Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, and filed this report on the daily lives of the people she encountered…

Serbian Orthodox Church reports mistreatment of Christians by Kosovo police (Interfax Religion) Information service of the Serbian Orthodox diocese of Ra?ka-Prizren reports that during Christmas celebration on 7 January 2013, Kosovar police executed a raid operation in the Gra?anica convent. The ruling hierarch, Bishop Teodosije of Raska-Prizren, was not notified. The worshippers’ confusion, fear and bewilderment over actions of the police were redoubled by the detention of Orthodox Christians who were in Gracanica to attend Christmas Divine Liturgy. Several Serbs were detained and brought to Pristina for interrogation without any indictment. According to one of them, they were beaten while in the detention unit. One sustained serious injuries and was admitted to the local hospital. The detention of Orthodox Christians on the day of the Nativity of Christ and mistreatment of the detainees has evoked indignation among the Serbian Orthodox and Russian Orthodox communities…

Combating human trafficking a priority in Orissa (Fides) A decisive fight against human trafficking — which mainly affects the poorest communities in Orissa, such as Christians — and initiatives to ensure food security for the population are the activities sponsored for the Year of Faith by a network formed by the religious congregations in the state of Orissa. The network includes other Christian denominations, non-governmental organizations, civic groups, students and diocesan teams of volunteers. The network has identified two emergencies in the society of Orissa state in eastern India, the scene of anti-Christian massacres in 2008. The first is human trafficking, which affects mostly women and children, and the second is food insecurity — households do not have the certainty of the minimum daily sustenance necessary for survival…

Court overturns life sentence against Hosni Mubarak; orders retrial (N.P.R.) An Egyptian court overturned a life sentence against ousted President Hosni Mubarak and ordered a retrial for the former autocrat. The decision to retry the strongman, who was serving a life sentence for failing to stop the killing of protesters, came as no surprise. When the judge overseeing the original case made his ruling last June, he criticized the prosecution for failing to produce concrete evidence against the leadership. Mubarak and his security chief Habib al Adly will be tried again on criminal charges related to the killing of some 1,000 demonstrators during the 2011 uprising that forced the president’s ouster. Adly’s six deputies, who held key positions and were all acquitted, will also be retried. The court also granted a request to overturn not-guilty verdicts on corruption charges against Mubarak, his two sons and a business associate, Hussein Salem…



Tags: India Egypt Syrian Civil War human trafficking Kosovo