Recently in International Category

The U.N. Security Council voted Saturday to form a group of up to 300 unarmed military observers and an unspecified number of civilian specialists to monitor the cease-fire between the Syrian government and armed opposition forces, the Washington Post reports.

The U.N. Supervision Mission in Syria is set to reinforce a small team that began testing the nine-day-old cease-fire this week with visits to multiple Syrian towns, the Washington Post reports.

According to CNN, the cease-fire is part of a six-point peace plan laid out by U.N.-Arab League special envoy Kofi Annan and accepted by the Syrian government.

Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that the Obama administration supports the decision but there should be "no illusions" that the observers will erase the tension in Syria, according to the Washington Post.

The city of Homs underwent another day of heavy shelling Sunday after a temporary pause in shelling on Saturday, when two U.N. monitors were in the city, CNN reports.

"Today is the first day since two months ... Homs (is) without shelling," one man told the monitors Saturday. "When you come, shelling stops."

CBS NEWS reports approximately 400 inmates - including at least 30 men with previous record of association with the Taliban - escaped from a Pakistan prison early on Sunday, according to accounts given by Pakistani officials.

According to CNN, 384 prisoners broke out of a prison in the city of Bannu in northwest Pakistan, an area known for a heavy militant presence. The facility held a total of 944 prisoners.

Four prison officials were wounded in the attack, which lasted more than two hours, said Iftikhar Khan, a senior police official in the city, CNN reports.

According to CNN, two of the prisoners who escaped were scheduled to be executed.

In response to the jailbreak, the Pakistani government ordered a high-level inquiry to "investigate the gaps in security arrangements," said the intelligence official who spoke to CBS News from Peshawar.

The jailbreak came hours before suspected Taliban militants launched what appeared to be a series of well-coordinated attacks in Kabul, Afghanistan, CBS NEWS reports.

According to CNN, the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, according to its spokesman Ehsanullah Ehsan.

"We will go where we need to go" said Ehsan, promising to continue attacks that would result in the release of other Taliban members.

Peru mine collapses, 9 trapped

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A mine collapse in southern Peru on Thursday has left nine trapped, CNN reports.

According to the Washington Post, Peruvian authorities say they are providing food and drink to the miners through a tube.

CNN reports a cave-in on Sunday has interfered with progress.

Police chief Jose Saavedra in southern Peru's Ica region says the miners are not trapped very deep under the surface. He says the miners are behind debris about 20 feet wide that collapsed when they set off an explosion to dislodge copper ore, the Washington Post reports.

The rescue could reportedly take another day or two, CNN reports.

According to the Washington Post, the miners were working on their own at a mine about 175 miles south of Lima that reportedly shut down commercial operations in the early 1980s.

The Syrian government is trying to "systematically dismantle" the anti-regime "citizen journalist network" and have seized a key player in the operation, CNN reports.

CNN was told by an activist, who wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons, the regime has been making arrests and have seized Ali Mahmoud Othman.

According to NOW Lebanon News, Othman is head of an opposition media center in the city of Homs.

"We believe Ali is being subjected to severe torture," the activist told CNN. "The lives of our activists and citizen journalists across the whole country are now at risk."

The capture of Othman is the latest attempt by the Syrian government to stifle independent reporting.

CNN reports Heather Blake, the UK representative for the group Reporters Without Borders, said Saturday that "Syrian authorities are systematically targeting journalists working inside Syria, and particularly local journalists and the media centers that have been set up. This is based on research that we and many other organizations have done."

Another group, the Committee to Protect Journalists, says at least eight journalists have died in Syria since November, CNN reports.

CNN reports the United States gave $860,000 to the families of people in Afghanistan killed or wounded in a shooting spree that is being blamed on U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, two Afghan officials said Sunday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, $50,000 per person was the amount paid to the families of those who were killed. Families received $11,000 per injured victim.

A U.S. official confirmed Sunday that a payment had been made on Saturday, CNN reports.

The Los Angeles Times reports U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales faces 17 counts of "premeditated" homicide, as well as other charges in connection with the March 11 assault on a nearby village.

Afghans are insisting that the suspect be returned to Afghanistan to face trial, CNN reports. Bales is being detained at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Car bomb attack at Nigeria church leaves six dead

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CNN reports six people are dead after a car bomb detonated outside a Catholic church on Sunday in the Nigerian city of Jos.

The attack happened outside of St. Finbar's Catholic Church, according to Plateau Gov. Jonah David Jang. The bomb went off as worshipers attended the final Mass of the day.

MSNBC reports security stopped the suspicious car at the gate shortly before the bomb was detonated.

The blast damaged the church's roof, blew out its windows and destroyed a portion of the fence surrounding the church's compound, according to MSNBC's article.

No group immediately claimed responsibility, but the city has been targeted in the past by a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram, MSNBC reports. The group could not be reached for comment.

"This is an unfortunate situation and we will do all we can to prevent future occurrences," Jang said to a crowd of residents, CNN reports. "We all must be calm and we all must leave things in the hands of God who knows why he has allowed this to happen."

Train crash in Poland kills 16

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Two trains running on the same track collided head-on in southern Poland on Saturday, killing 16 people and injuring 58, USA TODAY reports.

The crash near Krakow was the country's worst train disaster in more than 20 years. Rescuers worked through the night to assist the victims.

One of the trains was on the wrong track. Prior to the crash, maintenance work was being done on the tracks. However, officials said it's too early to determine the cause of the disaster.

The Guardian reports the US consulate in Krakow said an American woman was among the dead. Spokesman Benjamin Ousley said he could give no more information.

"This is our most tragic train disaster in many, many years," said Donald Tusk, the county's prime minister. "It's a very, very sad day and night in the history of Polish railways and for all of us."

Murdoch launches paper to replace disbanded tabloid

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Rupert Murdoch launched a new British tabloid Sunday to replace his disgraced News of the World, seven months after the best-selling Sunday paper was shut down over a phone-hacking and bribery scandal, CNN reports.

This "new" Sunday newspaper is not entirely new. The Sun, which is Britain's biggest selling newspaper, is now a seven-day operation instead of six.

Murdoch flew to London to oversee the launch of the newspaper and was at the printing presses north of London on Saturday night to see the first editions appear, USA TODAY reports.

According to CNN, the Sunday Sun launched with a print run of 3 million, far more than any daily newspaper sells in Britain, but well below the 4.75 million sales for the last issue of News of the World.

News of the World was closed down in 2011 in light of the phone hacking scandal that led disgust in the British community, USA TODAY said.

Officials say at least 40 killed in Mexican prison riot

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At least 38 people died during a prison riot in northern Mexico on Sunday, CNN reports.

The riot broke out early Sunday morning in Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, state security spokesman Jorge Domene said.

New York Daily News reports that the riot started in one cell block and spread to a second cell block. A guard was taken hostage during the riots.

Domene said at least 40 people died before authorities regained control of the prison a couple of hours later.

Worried families of the prisoners gathered outside the prison Sunday morning, demanding to know the status of the victims involved in the riot.

According to New York Daily News, deadly fights happen periodically in Mexican prisons as gangs and drug cartels stage jail breaks and battle for control of penitentiaries. Prison officials are often involved.

CNN reports that the most recent tactic of war used by Syrian government forces involves using civilian hostages as human shields by placing them on government tanks to prevent the Free Syrian Army from fighting back.

The spree of violence in Homs has lasted at least eight consecutive days. The Baba Amr neighborhood was attacked again on Sunday by President Bashar al-Assad's troops.

At least 23 people were killed Sunday, including a woman and two children, according to the opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria.

According to the article, CNN cannot independently confirm details of the fighting in Syria because the government has severely limited the access of international journalists.

The al-Assad regime has ravaged Syria since it began almost a year ago. U.N. officials estimate 6,000 people have died since protests. The LCC says the toll has far exceeded 7,000.

The regime "is now assassinating and targeting anyone they suspect of joining the revolution or thinking of defecting," Free Syrian Army Col. Malek Al Kurdi said to CNN.

Al-Assad's regime has insisted its efforts are aimed at armed gangs and foreign terrorists bent on destabilizing the government. However, virtually all reports from within the country indicate al-Assad's forces are slaughtering protesters and other civilians.

The international community has repeatedly failed to convince al-Assad's regime to stop the massacre, so it's unclear what effect the Arab League talks could have.

Turkey called Friday for rapid international action to supply humanitarian assistance to the attacked cities in Syria, the Washington Post reports.

"We are talking about what should be done today," said Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in Washington for discussions with the Obama administration.

The situation remains bleak, and it seems unlikely that the conflict will end in the near future, TIME reports. The rebellion is still resilient after a year of fighting, but there is little chance of foreign government intervention at this time.

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