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Syria condemned by UN General Assembly

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Syria was condemned by the United Nations General Assembly Friday for attacks committed against its civilians, said The Associated Press.

Citing recent violence in the cities of Aleppo and Damascus, the UN passed a resolution reprimanding Syria for the violence and calling for the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad, said The Wall Street Journal.

The resolution was passed with 133 votes in agreement, 12 votes in disagreement, and 31 abstentions, said the AP.

Saudia Arabia, the author of the resolution, had initially written a stronger resolution, but it was weakened by Syrian allies Russia and China, said The Wall Street Journal.

Syria fired back at Saudi Arabia and other nations supporting the resolution, as Syrian ambassador to the UN said that they "played a major role by providing weapons to terrorist groups in Syria," according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Syrian ambassador also called the resolution a "piece of theater," as the resolution has enforceable impact, said the AP.

Mitt Romney declared Sunday that the U.S. should support Israel if it decides to take an armed stance against Iran's nuclear weapons program, said the Los Angeles Times.

The Republican presidential candidate spoke to 150 carefully selected guests in Jerusalem Tuesday, among whom were Israeli prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Jewish-American millionaires and potential campaign donors, said Haaretz.

Romney stated that the U.S. has a "solemn duty and a moral imperative to deny Iran's leaders the means to follow through on their malevolent intentions" and declared his full support of Israel, said the Los Angeles Times.

In an unusual move, Netanyahu invited Romney and his family to dinner at his private residence, suggesting that the two have a closer relationship than normal for a candidate, said Haaretz.

Israeli victims of Bulgaria bus bombs buried

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Funerals were held for the five Israeli victims of a bus bombing in Bulgaria Friday, said BBC News.

The bodies of the slain Israeli tourists were flown from Bulgaria to Tel Aviv Thursday night to be laid to rest Friday, said BBC News.

The burials come two days after the five victims, four men and one pregnant woman, were killed in the bombing of a tourist bus in the Bulgarian resort town of Burgas, said NPR.

Both Israeli and American officials have blamed Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, for the attacks, but the identity of the bomber has not been identified, said NPR.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attacks part of a "global campaign of terror" and said Wednesday that Israel would "respond forcefully to Iranian terror," according to BBC News.

Kofi Annan condemns recent Syria massacre

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U.N. special envoy to Syria Kofi Annan has condemned the most recent Syrian massacre, said Bloomberg.

Between 200 and 300 people were killed Thursday in the Syrian town of Tremseh. Government opposition blames government forces, while the Syrian government blames "terrorists" for the attacks, said The Washington Post.

The massacre launched protests throughout Syria, which will likely bring about more violence, said Bloomberg.

Annan said Friday that he was "shocked and appalled" by the massacre and blamed the Syrian government for the killings, said The Washington Post.

Josh Earnest, a spokesman for the Obama administration, said there is no longer doubt about the "need for a coordinated international response at the United Nations," said Bloomberg.

Pakistan reopens border to NATO supply trucks

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Pakistan reopened its border with Afghanistan Thursday for NATO supply trucks for the first time since November, said National Public Radio.

The border, which was closed by Pakistan after an American airstrike in November killed 24 Pakistani border troops, let through the first NATO trucks to Afghanistan in seven months, said The New York Times.

Pakistan agreed to the reopening Tuesday after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton apologized to Pakistani foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar Tuesday for the airstrikes, reported The New York Times.

More than 2,500 NATO trucks and supply containers were stuck in Karachi during the blockade, which forced NATO to utilize longer and more expensive routes through other Central Asian countries, said NPR.

While the move is seen as a step forward for U.S.-Pakistan relations, numerous political, military, and religious groups in Pakistan are planning to stage protests as a result of the reopening, said The New York Times.

Mohamed Morsi, the Islamist president-elect of Egypt, read an oath of office to hundreds of thousands of supporters in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, said The New York Times.

The oath is normally taken in front of parliament, but the Egyptian military, known as the Supreme Council of Armed Forces, dissolved one house of the parliament and limited the powers of the president, reported the Daily News Egypt.

Morsi said in his speech that it is the people who are "the source of all authority, power and legitimacy", expressing defiance at the recent actions of the SCAF, said the Daily News Egypt.

The president-elect also referenced the bravery of an estimated 16,000 protesters recently arrested by the Egyptian military, as well as his desire to have them freed, said the Daily News Egypt.

Morsi is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamic group with a long-standing opposition to U.S. policy, but has pledged to sustain an Egypt-U.S. alliance, said The New York Times.

Morsi will be officially sworn in Saturday during a military-sponsored general assembly tomorrow, said the Daily News Egypt.

Putin and Obama agree violence in Syria needs to end

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Russia and the U.S. have reached an agreement that the hostilities in Syria need to stop.

At the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, President Obama and Russian president Vladimir Putin met and discussed, most notably, the conflict in Syria, said The New York Times.

Despite pressure from Obama to have Putin make a statement on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, the joint statement made no mention of al-Assad, said The New York Times.

Also missing from the statement was any suggestion of action, such as a trade embargo or sanction, reported The Guardian.

This statement is seen as a step forward for Russia, who formerly refused to condemn the violence in Syria, said The Guardian.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has accused Russia of supplying the Syrian government with helicopters in the fight against opposition forces in the country.

On Tuesday, Clinton expressed concern about Russia's actions, believing that the recent shipment will only escalate the conflict, reported The Los Angeles Times.

According to The Guardian, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov has denied these claims, stating that Russia "is not violating any international law".

The Guardian reports that both the Syrian government and the Free Syrian Army, the primary opposition force, have rejected U.N. peace plans.

President Obama will meet with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Monday during the the summit of the Group of 20 industrial nations.

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