Syrian rebels rise up on new front near capital

Syrian rebels ignited a new front Friday outside the capital, Damascus, in the first significant fighting there since regime forces swept over the suburbs weeks ago. The clashes highlight the shifting nature of Syria’s conflict, with rebels lying in wait to rise up when the regime turns its guns elsewhere.

The return of violence to the Damascus suburbs raises questions about how long troops can control areas before they re-erupt.


Documents show bin Laden plotted Obama assassination

Osama bin Laden in his final days schemed over an effort to kill President Barack Obama as well as other top U.S. officials, documents recovered from his compound show.

A senior administration official confirmed the existence of a bin Laden proposal to assassinate Obama and Gen. David Petraeus, first reported Friday by Washington Post columnist David Ignatius. The administration official said the documents show that bin Laden spent much of his time brooding and offering guidance that went unheeded and that he was extremely concerned with improving al-Qaida’s image.

Senior leaders of al-Qaida believed the group’s image had been seriously damaged because of its attacks against other Muslims, said the official .Bin Laden’s suggestions were not advanced enough to be considered a serious plot, the official said.


Children charity co-founder held after acting strangely

A co-founder of the Invisible Children charity behind a viral video about a brutal central Africa warlord was detained by San Diego police and hospitalized after running through streets in his underwear and acting irrationally, a TV station reported Friday.

Police Lt. Andra Brown told NBC San Diego that Jason Russell was behaving strangely Thursday, screaming, yelling and interfering with traffic. Brown said police decided he needed medical attention.

Russell narrates the “Kony 2012” video about wanted African warlord Joseph Kony. The video, however, has brought heavy scrutiny of Invisible Children’s strategy and financial practices.


New rule requires cargo ships to treat ballast water

Oceangoing cargo ships will be required to zap their ballast water with ultraviolet light, chemicals or other treatments before dumping it in U.S. waters under a regulation the Coast Guard announced Friday to prevent species invasions that damage the environment.

The long-awaited rule comes more than two decades after environmental groups began pushing for a crackdown on ballast water, which provides stability in rough seas but often harbors stowaway species. When the soupy mixtures of water and sediment are discharged , the newcomers can spread rapidly.

— From news service reports