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10 Least Livable Cities in the World

Including Port Moresby in Papua New Guinea

(Newser) - The Economist Intelligence Unit has compiled a list that no city wants to be on—the "least livable" ones in the world for 2016. Factors include education, health care, safety, and the threat of terrorism. Here are the worst 10, with their ranking out of 100:
  1. Damascus, Syria (30.
... More »

The 5 Most Livable Cities in the World

Head for Australia (Melbourne is No. 1), Canada, or Austria

(Newser) - "Civil unrest, acts of terror and violence" around the world are compromising the livability of cities around the globe, per a new ranking by the Economist Intelligence Unit that surveyed 140 cities. The report notes even cities in North America have suffered, some from the turmoil caused by the... More »

175 Dead in One of Syrian War's Biggest Hits

Rebels ambushed by Syria military outside Damascus yesterday

(Newser) - Syrian forces ambushed a group of rebels outside Damascus yesterday, killing 175 belonging to the Islamist extremist al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, according to state news agencies, per the Wall Street Journal . The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted 152 dead—mostly foreigners from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Chechnya—in the raid... More »

Rebels: Syria Dropped Chemical Weapons on Us

Opposition says hundreds dead as regime denies use of toxic gas

(Newser) - Syrian opposition groups say hundreds of people— Reuters says nearly 500—were killed today in chemical weapons attacks on rebel-held suburbs of Damascus. Videos uploaded to YouTube by activists show people, including many children, being treated in makeshift hospitals, reports the BBC , which has been unable to fully verify the... More »

Syrian Rebels: We Hit Assad's Motorcade

President's reps say attack missed him entirely

(Newser) - It's he said/he said in Syria today after rebels claimed to have struck President Bashar Assad's motorcade this morning with mortar shells, Al-Jazeera reports. A regime-linked TV station said shells did hit Assad's upscale Damascus neighborhood, hurting two guards, but presidential reps insist his presidential convoy was... More »

Car Plows into Parade Crowd, Injures 60

4 seriously injured in Damascus, Virginia

(Newser) - Up to 60 people have been injured, some critically, after a man drove a car into a crowd during a parade in southwestern Virginia. Three victims were flown to hospital via helicopter, and another 12 to 15 went by ambulance, after being struck while watching the Hikers Parade at a... More »

Huge Blast Rocks Damascus

Kids dead, Russian embassy damaged

(Newser) - A powerful car bomb exploded in central Damascus today, blowing out the windows of the Russian embassy, and killing at least some children at a nearby school. The bomb detonated at a security checkpoint between the embassy and the Baath Party Headquarters, the BBC reports. Activists say at least 31... More »

5K Syrians Flee Every Day

It's a 'full-on crisis,' says UN official

(Newser) - The number of Syrian residents fleeing their country is rising fast, says the UN refugee agency. It puts the number at 5,000 day, bringing the total who have fled so far to nearly 800,000, reports Reuters . That's a 25% increase in January alone, reports the New York ... More »

Planes Sent to Evacuate Russians in Syria

As power outage strikes Damascus

(Newser) - Moscow sent two planes to pick up Russian citizens trapped in Syria's civil war today as a power outage struck Damascus and a swath of the country's south, report Russia Today and the AP . The Russian planes were headed for Beirut, where about 100 people, mostly women and... More »

Syria Bombs Refugee Camp

Unknown number dead in Damascus refuge for Palestinians

(Newser) - Fighter jets belonging to the regime of Bashar al-Assad have bombed a Damascus refugee camp today amid heavy fighting with rebels. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights tells the BBC that at least eight are dead in the al-Yarmouk refugee camp, which is home to mainly Palestinian refugees; Reuters, meanwhile,... More »

Rebels Warn: Damascus Airport a 'Legit Target'

Russia poised to 'brainstorm' with US, envoy

(Newser) - Syrian rebels have issued a warning to civilians and airlines: Damascus International Airport is now a "military zone" to be approached at locals' "own risk." "The airport is now full of armored vehicles and soldiers," says a spokesman for rebels, who call the spot a... More »

Internet Back Up in Syria's Capital

It was down for two days amid heavy fighting around Damascus

(Newser) - Syria's Internet blackout has lifted in the capital of Damascus and other key cities, at least for the time being, reports the BBC and al-Jazeera . Access went down two days ago across the nation, with most observers blaming the government. The blackout has made reports sketchy, though rebels cite... More »

Syria Turns Off the Internet

Meanwhile, rebels block off airport

(Newser) - Someone appears to have completely cut off Syria's Internet access, two US-based monitoring companies reported today. Landlines and mobile phone signals have been cut off as well in at least some parts of Damascus, another activist tells the Guardian . The government has cut off phone and Internet access in... More »

Syria Wipes Out 10 Kids on Playground: Report

Activists say cluster bomb caused fatalities

(Newser) - The death toll in Syria has hit 40,000 , but the 10 latest reported deaths stand out: children killed on a playground by a cluster bomb yesterday, according to opposition activists. Videos of the carnage in Deir al-Asafir were posted online, reports the BBC , and show a woman weeping over... More »

Syrian Rebels Kill Top Assad General

Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi was senior Air Force general

(Newser) - A senior Air Force general has been assassinated by members of the Free Syrian Army in Damascus late Monday, says Syria's state-run news channel. Rebels took responsibility for his death and claimed to have also killed an air force intelligence official in the fell swoop, reports the BBC . The... More »

Now Syrian Rebels Have Missiles

Meanwhile, war reaches Damascus, the wealthy

(Newser) - This could change things: Some Syrian rebels now have antiaircraft missiles, rebels and regional officials say. Video footage appears to show the rebels using such weapons, which have been smuggled into the country, the Wall Street Journal reports. Rebels say they downed a military helicopter yesterday, one of at least... More »

Reporter Killed by Sniper in Syria During Live Broadcast

As military HQ is hit by 2 explosions

(Newser) - Damascus has been rocked by bombings for the past two days, with at least two large blasts hitting Syria's military headquarters there this morning. The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be the largest since July explosions killed President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and other... More »

Assad Rains Leaflets on Damascus: 'Surrender or Die'

In interview, he suggests he's dug in for the long haul

(Newser) - Syrian government helicopters rained fliers across Damascus yesterday telling rebels to surrender or "die a dishonorable death." One of the fliers was a "safe passage card," promising humane treatment for fighters who showed up at a checkpoint unarmed, the Washington Post reports. Rebels fear the fliers... More »

Syrian Rebels Report New 200+ Massacre

More than 200 executed by Syrian forces in Daraya

(Newser) - Another grisly massacre is being reported from Syria today, with activists saying that more than 200 bodies killed execution-style have been discovered in Daraya, a blue-collar Sunni town southwest of Damascus, reports Reuters . Government tanks swept into Daraya on Aug. 23 , killing many, and were apparently followed by house-to-house raids... More »

Damascus Wakes Up to Bodies in Street

Fighting intense in capital

(Newser) - Syrian regime tanks swept into a Damascus suburb yesterday, killing 25 people and wounding 200 more, opposition activists said today. Government forces met with little resistance there, Reuters reports; rebels had already cleared out of the town. Damascus isn't getting as much press as Aleppo , but it's become... More »

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