January 22, 2012 by staff
Earthquake Chiapas, 1 Syria crackdown: A string of explosions struck a police truck transporting prisoners in northwestern Syria on Saturday, killing at least 14 people, state media reported. Government troops also battled defectors in the north in fighting that left 10 people dead. The uprising against President Bashar Assad has turned increasingly militarized in recent months as more regime opponents arm themselves against government forces. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but members of the Free Syrian Army, a group of army defectors, are active in the area.
2 Earthquake: A magnitude-6.2 earthquake hit off the coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Saturday, shaking the state from the capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez to Tapachula on the border with Guatemala. There were no immediate reports of injuries. The quake broke windows in Tuxtla Gutierrez and sent frightened residents into the streets in cities across Chiapas. The U.S. Geological Survey said the epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean about 35 miles southwest of the city of Mapastepec.
3 Libya protest: Hundreds of angry Libyans on Saturday stormed the transitional government’s headquarters in Benghazi, carting off computers, chairs and desks while the country’s interim leader was still holed up in the building. Libyans have grown increasingly frustrated with the pace and direction of reforms in the country more than three months after the end of the civil war that ousted longtime dictator Moammar Khadafy.
4 Egypt election: Final results from Egypt’s first elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak show Islamist parties winning nearly three-quarters of the seats in parliament, officials said Saturday. An alliance led by the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood won 47 percent of the spots in the 498-seat parliament, while the ultraconservative Al-Nour Party clinched 25 percent. The two parties are not likely to join forces because of ideological differences. The liberal Egyptian Bloc said it secured 9 percent of the seats. Another liberal party, the Wafd, also won 9 percent.
5 Genocide bill: Thousands of Turks marched through Paris on Saturday, denouncing a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide. The bill will be debated Monday in the Senate. Ankara, angered by the measure, has suspended military and economic cooperation with Paris.
6 Peace talks: Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Saturday that he personally held peace talks recently with the insurgent faction Hizb-i-Islami, appearing to assert his own role in a U.S.-led bid for negotiations to end the country’s decadelong war. Karzai made the announcement before he met with American special representative Marc Grossman to discuss plans for bringing the Taliban insurgency into formal talks for the first time.
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