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Syrian government bombs town near Turkish border

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Turkey scrambled fighter jets as the Syrian government bombed an outskirt town within sight of the Turkish border, reports CNN.

Syrian civilians ran for the fence that separates the two countries when the town of Ras al-Ain was bombed, reports CNN. Civilians in the nearby Turkish town of Ceylanpinar also fled for cover during the attack.

The airstrike on Ras al-Ain killed six rebel fighters and injured 30 other people, reports MSNBC.

Nato officials were considering sending missiles to Turkey in case the Syrian civil war spreads across its borders, according to CNN.

Turkey had requested two batteries for an anti-missile system in November, reports the New York Times. Turkey told NATO that it was concerned Syria could use chemical weapons in its warheads as the civil war escalates.

Yasir Arafat's body exhumed to test for poison

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The body of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat was exhumed on Tuesday in response to allegations that he had been poisoned before his death, reports MSNBC.

Arafat's widow Suha called for an investigation in July when she said she suspected polonium poisoning as his cause of death, reports the New York Times.

Investigators had also detected signs of polonium on some of Arafat's possessions earlier this year, reports CNN.

After Arafat's body was uncovered, forensic investigators took samples for testing, reports MSNBC. His grave was re-covered within hours and while an official reburial ceremony was called off, Palestinian leaders were present at the time to lay down wreaths.

Arafat died eight years ago of a stroke in a French hospital at the age of 75, reports the New York Times.

While the cause of the infection that caused the stroke is unknown, French doctors did not find any immediate signs of poisoning in 2004, according to the New York Times.

Israeli airstrike kills Hamas military chief and 7 others

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Israel launched a series of airstrikes Wednesday, hitting at least 20 targets and killing Hamas's top military commander, according to the New York Times.

Ahmed Jabari was the senior commander of the Ezzidine Al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas's military wing, according to MSNBC. The brigades released a statement saying that Israel had "opened the gates to hell."

Hamas medical sources said the attack injured 84 people and killed at least eight others, including two young girls and Jabari's son, according to CNN.

Israel's attack is due to rising tensions in the region in recent weeks, according to the New York Times. Gaza has launched more than 750 rockets into Israel's southern region this year, frightening the Israeli population and destroying homes.

Israeli Defense Forces spokesman Brgi. Gen. Yoav Moredachai said that a land invasion of the Gaza region is a possibility as attacks from both sides escalate, reports MSNBC.

"All options that allow us to cause seriously damage to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations are on the table," he said.

The U.N. held an emergency meeting Wednesday to discuss the attacks, reports CNN. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an emergency session with the League of Arab States to discuss "Israeli aggression."

New pope for Egypt's Coptic Church selected

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Egyptian Coptic Christians selected a new pope for their church in a traditional ceremony in a Cairo Cathedral Sunday.

Bishop Tawadros Theodorus II was chosen as the 118th Coptic Pope on Sunday, reports the New York Times. Bishop Tawadros replaces the late Pope Shenouda III, who passed away in March at the age of 88, reports CNN.

A blind-folded 6-year-old drew the Bishop Tawadros's name out of a golden chalice, reports MSNBC. Coptic Christians believe that his hand was be guided by God, and is an important part of the ceremony.

Bishop Tawadros has said that he plans on focusing on the spiritual duties of the position as opposed to politics, reports New York Times. He promised to encourage a "moderate constructive integration" with the Muslim majority in Egypt.

This turn from politics contrasts Pope Shenouda's endorsement of President Hosni Mubarak and his urging Christians not to join in the protests across the country, reports the New York Times.

Greek editor goes on trial for publishing sensitive names

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A Greek editor went on trial Monday for publishing the names of over 2,000 Greeks who held Swiss bank accounts, reports MSNBC.

Editor of Hot Doc magazine Kostas Vaxevanis was arrested Sunday and accused of interfering with private data, according to the New York Times.

France had given the list to Greece in 2010 to investigate tax evasion, but the Greek government denied there was any evidence. Vaxevanis's trial was then seemingly fast-tracked through the Greek court system, appearing in court the next day, reports MSNBC.

The journalist's swift arrest and trial, along with the government's reluctance to review the list, has drawn criticism.

"These 'choices' send a message to society that democratic institutions in Greece, or whatever remains of them, are applied now to protect the system in power," The Athens Bar Association said, reports MSNBC.

""Instead of focusing on investigating the validity of the so-called Lagarde list ... they focus on the prosecution of a journalist who, in doing his job, dared to publicly reveal information that allegedly is included in the list."

Vaxevanis would face at least one year of prison time and a $39,000 fine if found guilty, according to the New York Times.

Former Italian Prime Minister charged with tax fraud

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Former Italian Prime Minister Silvo Berlusconi was sentenced to four years in prison for tax fraud Friday.

In addition to serving prison time, Berlusconi and others convicted in the case must deposit over $10 million into fund appeals ordered by the court, according to NBC news.

Berlusconi called the process and "unacceptable political sentence" and is likely to appeal, reports CNN news.

"I'm a victim of judicial harassment," Berlusconi said. "This is a conviction I can easily define as political, incredible and even intolerable."

Berlusconi announced Wednesday that he would not be leading his center-right political party in Italy's next election, reports the New York Times.

Berlusconi was allegedly involved in a scheme that purchased the rights to American films for Berlusconi's private television networks and falsely declared payments to evade taxes, reports NBC news.

One of the former prime minister's lawyers said Berlusconi would appeal the ruling, reports the New York Times. He added that it would be unlikely Berlusconi would even serve jail time because he has immunity as long as he is in Parliament.

Greek protesters clash with Police as EU meets in Brussels

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Thousands of Greek workers walked out of their jobs Thursday in the second nationwide strike in three weeks, according to the New York Times.

Demonstrators are protesting further austerity measures demanded by the country's lenders as well as cuts to pension and wages, reports NBC news.

"Just once the government ought to reject the troika's absurd demands," GSEE union leader Yannis Panagopoulos. According to NBC news, his union is one of the two influential unions in the country that represent 2 million Greek workers.

The strike is intentionally coinciding with a two day EU summit in Brussels to discuss plans for a banking union that begins Thursday, reports NBC news.

Some of the protests outside of Athens's Parliament building turned violent as a group of demonstrators threw bottles and rocks at police, reports CNN. This appears to have been in response to police presence during an otherwise peaceful protest.

Over 50 people were arrested and detained during these protests, according to the New York Times.

Hugo Chàvez re-elected as President of Venezuela

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Hugo Chàvez won his third term as President of Venezuela on Sunday, and promised to continue with socialist reforms for his country.

Chàvez defeated Henrique Capriles Radonski by earning 54% of the vote, over Capriles' 45%, reports CNN. It was the closest any candidate has come to defeating Chàvez.

"It was a perfect battle," Chàvez said, reports the New York Times.

Chàvez promised to pursue his socialist ideas for Venezuela during this term, and to pay more attention to the quality of government programs, reports the New York Times.

Despite Venuzuela's close economic relationship with the US, Chàvez has voiced his anti-american views by calling the US "imperialist" and supporting controversial leaders such as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran, reports CNN.

Chàvez's margin of victory was slimmer than the last election, and his opposition is increasing in popularity. Support for Chàvez's opposition increased by 1.85 million votes from six years ago, while Chàvez only earned 135,000 more votes, reports NBC news.

"We began the construction of a path," Capriles said after Chàvez had won the election, reports the New York Times. He added that he hoped Chàvez would see this election as "the expression of a country with two visions, and to be president means working to solve the problems of all Venezuelans."

Dozens killed in Hong Kong ferry collision

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Two boats collided in Hong Kong's harbor, sinking one ship and killing at least 38 passengers, according to the New York Times.

The Lamma IV and a passenger ferry owned by Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry were both carrying partygoers celebrating China's National Day when the two boats collided Monday evening, according to the New York Times.

While the passenger ferry was damaged but reached its destination, the Lamma IV rolled violently before partially sinking, according to CNN.

Chris Head was on the passenger ferry and told BBC that he saw the Lamma IV begin sinking vertically into the water just five minutes after the crash.

Rescuers acted quickly to rescue 123 passengers from the Lamma IV and are searching for an unknown number of missing passengers, reports CNN.

This is Hong Kong's deadliest maritime incident in over 40 years, according to the New York Times.

Disgraced Chinese politician Bo Xilai is defended by son

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The son of former Chinese official Bo Xilai released a statement on Saturday about the many charges his father faces in a political scandal.

Bo Xilai was expelled from the Politiburo Standing Committee on Friday and now faces charges in connection with the death of British businessman Neil Heyward last year, reports CNN news.

Bo's wife Gu Kailai was convicted of killing Heyward and given a commuted death sentence in August, reports the New York Times.

China's state-run news agency Xinhua also reported that Bo had been bribed and been in sexual relations with many women, according to CNN.

Bo Xilai's son Guagua Bo, who recently graduated from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, posted a brief message about the accusations on Tumblr Saturday evening, according to the New York Times.

"Personally, it is hard for me to believe the allegations announced against my father," Guagua Bo said. "They contradict everything I have come to know about him throughout my life."

Guagua Bo has confirmed that the Tumblr account is legitimate but refused to comment further, reports CNN.

"At this point, I expect the legal process to follow its normal course, and I will await the result," he said on Tumblr.