Syrian Groups Say Bloody Day Left High Toll of Civilians — New York Times BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria’s opposition on Friday reported the deadliest 24-hour period so far in the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad and said rebel fighters had seized two Syrian generals, one of them the highest-ranking officer to fall into insurgent hands. Accounts of the intensified mayhem in Syria came as Kofi Annan, the special envoy for the United Nations and the Arab League, prepared to hold a high-level meeting in Geneva that includes the five permanent members of the Security Council to rescue his sidelined Syrian peace plan from total irrelevance. Read more …. MIDDLE EAST Assad rejects external solution for Syria crisis. Assad forces bombard northern towns, avoid Turkish border. Military funerals in Syria suggest mounting casualties. Syria on agenda as Clinton, Lavrov meet in St. Petersburg. Iraq’s commitment to U.S. mission questioned in Congress . U.S.’s $51 billion Iraq projects at risk, inspector says. EU oil embargo on Iran goes into effect Sunday. National service proposal riles Israeli arabs . ASIA Report: US mulls clandestine raids into Pakistan. Australian vote keeps question mark over asylum seekers. South Korea puts off Japan military pact at last minute. China blocks Bloomberg for exposing financial affairs of Xi Jinping’s family. China’s Shenzhou-9 spacecraft returns to Earth. Democrats beat ruling party in Mongolian election. India police kill ’17 Maoists’ in Chhattisgarh. India floods: Many thousands flee homes in Assam. 15 years after China takeover, Hong Kong uneasy. AFRICA Democracy a learning process as Libya set to vote. Back-to-back coups hand ECOWAS huge challenge. Islamist militants stream into northern Mali town after victory. Egyptians pack Tahrir on eve of Mursi inauguration. Egypt’s defence minister hangs defiantly on to power. Amnesty International: Arms imports fuel S. Sudan violence. Khartoum: Sudan austerity protesters ‘tear-gassed’. EUROPE Breakthrough in Europe bank talks send Spain, Italy borrowing costs down. Merkel defends compromise deal on eurozone banks. EU deal for Spain, Italy buoys markets but details sketchy. Uzbekistan quits Russia-dominated security pact. Eta members arrested in London. Julian Assange remains at embassy after failing to report to police. AMERICAS Border Patrol union blasts Homeland Security instructions to ‘run away’ and ‘hide’ from gunmen. Republican hopes dimming to repeal health care law. Obama in Colorado to tour state’s worst-ever wildfire . President Obama signs Colorado disaster declaration . Mercosur ‘to suspend’ Paraguay over Lugo impeachment. Drug cartel rivals behead Zetas on camera. Mexican drug cartels work to sway local vote. Falklands responds to Argentine approaches on fishing and flights. Russian arms dealer jailed in U.S. will appeal. TERRORISM/THE LONG WAR House foreign affairs leaders band together on designating Haqqani Network as terror group. Pakistan Army facing greater threat from al-Qaeda: observers. Yemen says al Qaeda militants may have fled to Oman. London police arrest 2 terror suspects. ECONOMY/FINANCE/BUSINESS Barclays boss Bob Diamond says he will not resign. Nestle ‘failing’ on child labour abuse, says FLA report. Google gave us a week of product launches and impressive demos at I/O. Boeing, Embraer teaming up on military plane.
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World News Briefs — June 29, 2012 (Evening Edition)