BEIRUT

Two explosions at university in Syria kill more than 80

Twin blasts ripped through a university campus in Syria’s largest city on Tuesday as students were taking exams, setting cars alight, blowing the walls off dormitory rooms and killing more than 80 people, according to anti-regime activists and a government official.

The opposition and the government blamed each other for the explosions inside Aleppo University, which marked a major escalation in the struggle for control of the hotly contested commercial hub.

Activists said forces loyal to President Bashar Assad launched two airstrikes on the area, while Syrian state media said a “terrorist group” — the government’s shorthand for rebels — hit it with two rockets.

CHARLESTON, S.C.

Philandering ex-governor planning return to politics

Nearly four years after his affair with an Argentine woman was exposed, former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford plans to announce his return to politics and run for his old congressional seat.

His spokesman Joel Sawyer confirmed that the 52-year-old Sanford would announce his bid on Wednesday. The ex-Republican governor said last month that reports he was planning a political comeback were accurate and he was in Charleston last week looking for office space for his campaign.

The National Review Online on Tuesday first reported the announcement.

Sanford’s old 1st District seat is open. Its former occupant, U.S. Rep. Tim Scott, was appointed to the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by the resignation of Sen. Jim DeMint.

The two-term governor was seen as a possible contender for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009 to visit his mistress in Argentina. Reporters and others were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

PHILADELPHIA

Five-year-old abducted from school found next day

A passer-by found an abducted 5-year-old girl huddled beneath a playground slide in the pre-dawn cold Tuesday, nearly 20 hours after a stranger claiming to be her mother signed her out of her Philadelphia elementary school under the guise of taking her to breakfast.

Nelson Mandela Myers said he found the freezing girl barefoot, wearing only a damp, adult-sized T-shirt. He was drawn to the park in Upper Darby by her cries for help.

“She was just mainly shivering and saying that she was cold,” he said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Myers, 27, wrapped her in his jacket and called police from his cellphone. “I’m just glad I was there at the right time.”

The girl was taken Monday morning from the William C. Bryant School, in West Philadelphia. After being discovered Tuesday, the girl was taken to the hospital to be checked out, but police said she didn’t appear to be hurt.

 

 

District officials said school policy wasn’t followed in releasing the girl into her abductor’s custody.