Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wrap up of weekly world news

Here's the pick of the world news for the past week:

Russia and China vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its campaign to suppress dissent and backing an Arab League plan for Bashar al-Assad to step down as Syrian leader. The vote came as the Assad regime was launching a major offensive on the city of Homs, whose residents were under mortar attack over the weekend and into Monday morning. "A couple members of this council remain steadfast in their willingness to sell out the Syrian people and shield a craven tyrant," said the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice. 

In Damascus, one of the Syrian cities previously least affected by civil strife, residents were stockpiling food and water and enduring rolling blackouts. "Nobody is comfortable anymore," said one socialite, adding that she had curtailed her weekly visits to the nail salon. "And I paint my nails black when I come, just like the situation." 

At least 70 people died in a riot at a soccer stadium in Port Said, Egypt, and in Moscow, tens of thousands of activists rallied in Bolotnaya Square to oppose Vladimir Putin's presidential candidacy, while tens of thousands of Putin supporters rallied at Poklonnaya Gora, calling the antigovernment activists "Orange trash". Putin's detractors turned out in spite of below-freezing temperatures. "We are not revolutionaries in mink coats!" shouted one speaker. "I am!" replied a woman in a mink coat. 

A fifth of dogs and a quarter of cats in America were classified as obese. "I didn't notice the weight creeping on," said an Atlanta woman of her dog, Dodger. "All of a sudden he was just this fat dog." 

Newt Gingrich's presidential campaign deployed robo-calls falsely accusing Mitt Romney of having deprived Holocaust survivors in nursing homes of kosher meals during his tenure as Massachusetts governor, and New Jersey governor Chris Christie refused to apologize for calling a gay state assemblyman "numbnuts." 

Mitt Romney said on CNN that he wasn't "concerned about the very poor," and the Dutch bedding company Snurk angered Swedish homeless-advocacy groups by selling luxury duvet covers resembling cardboard boxes.
Residents of Isafjorour, a town in northwestern Iceland, celebrated the return of the sun, which arrived several days late.

American monkey-lovers continued to evade wildlife-control agents. "It's not what I fought for, to be treated like this," said Jim Clark, a disabled Vietnam veteran who lives in a motor home on the Texas-Louisiana border with his wife, Donita, and their four capuchins, Tina Marie, Meeko Mae, Sara Jo, and Hayley Suzanne. "So many of us want to disappear," said Ann Newman, president of the Simian Society of America, "and have our own community where we can safely keep our monkeys."

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