HARTFORD, Conn.

Prom-day stabbing death of teen ruled a homicide

A 16-year-old girl stabbed at her high school on the day of her junior prom died of wounds to her torso and neck, Connecticut’s chief medical examiner said Sunday.

The medical examiner’s office ruled that Maren Sanchez’s death was a homicide.

A 16-year-old male classmate is charged with murder as a juvenile in the stabbing at Jonathan Law High School in Milford.

The attack occurred Friday morning, hours before the school’s prom, and authorities are investigating whether Sanchez was stabbed after turning down the boy’s invitation to the dance.

Police haven’t released the suspect’s name, but people who saw him taken into custody identified him as Chris Plaskon, a friend of the victim’s and an athlete described as genial and respectful.

Plaskon’s attorney, Richard Meehan, says his client is being held in a hospital under psychiatric evaluation. Plaskon will not appear at an arraignment scheduled for Monday in New Haven, the attorney said.

DAMASCUS, Syria

Syria urged to destroy toxic chemicals on deadline

The head of an international mission to Syria charged with destroying the country’s chemical weapons called on President Bashar Assad’s government Sunday to ensure it meets a deadline to destroy all its toxic chemicals amid a raging civil war.

Also Sunday, four more candidates announced their candidacy for Syria’s upcoming June presidential election, state television announced, a poll Assad is expected to win.

Meanwhile, clashes raging through the northern city of Aleppo killed at least 20 people and wounded over 50, activists reported.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia

Obama presses Malaysia on human rights record

President Obama on Sunday pressed the Malaysian government to improve its human rights record and appealed to Southeast Asia’s teeming youth population to stand up for the rights of minorities and the rule of law.

Yet Obama skipped a golden chance to promote that human rights agenda, declining to meet with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Instead, he directed national security adviser Susan Rice to see Anwar on Monday.

Obama said his decision was “not indicative of our lack of concern” about the former deputy prime minister who recently was convicted for the second time on sodomy charges, which the U.S. and international human rights groups contend are politically motivated.

– From news service reports