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An ancient Christian town in Syria torn apart by war. Last week the Syrian army regained control of Maaloula from Islamist fighters. Maaloula's churches and monasteries attracted both Christian and Muslim pilgrims before the conflict. Now on Easter a church stands in ruins. Artwork has been salvaged but much is in disrepair. The town is filled with the scars of war. Homes are broken apart -- with little left but memories. Earlier on Sunday Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited the town, - a rare appearance outside central Damascus. State TV airs footage as he tours a damaged monastery. Assad's government has consistently tried to portray itself as the protector of the country's minorities, including the Christians who account for about 10 percent of the population. The Easter visit also highlights growing government confidence in recent gains against insurgents around the capital and along the Lebanese border. Islamist fig
Added by reuters 8 hours ago
In Kiev people flock to Independence square to celebrate the Easter holiday. Music plays and all the trappings of Easter are at hand. For Christians, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus Christ and a time of renewal. Photos of the dozens who died in the capital in the fight for the country's future still line the Square. But Easter is a time of hope. (SOUNDBITE) (Ukrainian) OLEKSANDR DVORETSKY, KIEV RESIDENT, SAYING: "It is a special feeling because of the events that took place this year. I would like to believe that along with the holiday of resurrection of Christ some bright changes will take place in Ukraine." In the East of the country, as gunmen still occupy some government buildings, church becomes a place for reflection. At least three people were killed in a gunfight in the early hours of the morning, shaking an already fragile international accord that was designed to avert a wider conflict. Citizens as well as separatists li
Added by reuters 10 hours ago
A university comes under attack in Baghdad Sunday with at least four people killed. A suicide bomber blew himself up killing three guards and a university lecturer. It didn't end there. Police say another three gunmen then managed to break into the rear entrance of the university and briefly took hostages. Iraqi special forces managed to kill the three gunmen without any casualties among students. More than a dozen people were wounded (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LECTURER, QAIS NI'MA, SAYING: "Suicide bombers came in the entrance and seized the university and our sons the policemen and the employees managed to kill them." Violence in Iraq is escalating with nearly 8,000 civilians killed last year. This latest attack comes ahead of parliamentary elections April 30th with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki seeking a third term.
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"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" continues to soar, holding onto the top spot at the box office for a third week. This latest super-hero hit from Disney's Marvel Studios has collected $26.6 million this weekend. And it's as strong as ever. A song of praise for these colorful birds, who are celebrating at second place. The blue macaws are brought to life by Jesse Eisenberg and Anne Hathaway. And he's right - there's nothing alarming about being in the top three. The film "Heaven is for Real" placed a solid third this week, with $21.5 million earned over the weekend. The heart-felt narrative is based on a best-selling Christian book, with a boy who claims to have witnessed heaven during surgery. Will Captain America's brute strength be enough to hold onto number one? Or will it melt in the face of such sweet competition?
Added by reuters 12 hours ago
Families of the passengers of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 got news on Sunday that many of them would rather not hear. The Malaysian government is getting ready to issue death certificates for the missing passengers, whose flight disappeared from radar in March. Many relatives, unhappy about the progress of the search operation to locate the plane, are still clinging to the hope that their loved ones are not gone. (SOUNDBITE) (Bahasa Malaysia) 60-YEAR-OLD SALAMAT OMAR, RELATIVE OF MISSING PASSENGER SAYING: "We couldn't find it in the sea and we couldn't find it on land. It's only logical that they're alive." The search for Flight 370, the most expensive ever in aviation history, has captivated the world. The current underwater operation may be complete within a week, officials say. But in Kuala Lumpur, from where the missing plane took off in March, residents say the search should continue until the plane is finally found. (SOUNDB
Added by reuters 13 hours ago
You better believe it -- Justin Bieber's U.S. visa stays put. Much to the dismay of over a hundred thousand people who signed a petition to deport him. The massive petition was sent to the White House's "We The People" website earlier this year. It begged the Obama administration to deport the Canadian heart-throb following several run-ins with the law. The White House response? "No comment." The petition points out; if a U.S. immigrant is convicted of a crime, they face being deported. At least ones who aren't famous. Bieber faces charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest and using an expired license after an incident in Miami. He's pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Added by ITN News 13 hours ago
As the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge continue their tour of Australia, baby Prince George performs his first official duty at Taronga Zoo. Report by Nwosu-Hopev. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Added by reuters 14 hours ago
A time for prayer in Katmandu after the deadliest accident ever on Mount Everest. At least 13 sherpas were killed Friday when snow and huge chunks of ice swept down a perilous pass on the mountain. The search is now over for the three sherpa guides still missing. The accident is focusing attention on the risks sherpas take ---- carrying supplies for foreigners eager to climb the world's highest mountain. Overcrowding on Everest, where the number of fatal accidents has risen in recent decades, although it dropped last year. Some think there should be no more expeditions this year -- but that can be a tough choice for people with few options. Sherpas can earn up to $5,000 a year in a country with an average annual income of just $700. SOUNDBITE: CHHRING SHERPA SAYING (Nepali): "Some people want to return. It's a compulsion. The compulsion is mainly for the money because they don't have any other work. They are thinking of continuing. In my opi
Added by reuters 15 hours ago
A hearing for five men accused of conspiring in the 9/11 attacks concluded early on Thursday. This, as defense lawyers say they - not their clients - are being investigated by the FBI. Attorneys representing Ramzi Bin al Shibh say FBI agents approached one of their team members earlier and "asked him to sign an agreement." James Connell represents another one of the five defendants accused in the attack. SOUNDBITE (English) JAMES CONNELL, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT ALI ABDUL AZIZ ALI, SAYING: "We have been polling our current team and all the people since 2008 who have worked on behalf of Mr. al Baluchi (Ammar al Baluchi, also known as Ali Abdul Aziz Ali) as to whether they have been approached. And we've heard back from a substantial number of people, over 15. And none of those people have reported that they have been approached by the FBI. So, we don't know the scope of the investigation. Our preliminary investigation leads us to hope that it may be combined
Added by reuters 16 hours ago
Easter Sunday was anything but peaceful in this corner of eastern Ukraine. At least two people were killed in a gunfight near Slaviansk, at this makeshift checkpoint manned by pro-Russian separatists. They say they were attacked by a convoy of ultra-nationalists called the Right Sector, whose power base is in the west. (SOUNDBITE) (Russian) UNARMED ACTIVIST WORKING AT CHECKPOINT 20, VLADIMIR, SAYING: "People jumped out of Jeeps and started shooting at us. They threw stun grenades. Our people started running in various directions when somebody shouted 'down!'. A sniper was shooting those who tried to run into the village. The first who ran was killed by a sniper right away, then there was a second dead. There was another man, he was crawling, he wouldn't get up, he was just lying there waiting for a miracle." The Right Sector denies any role. It says Russian special forces were behind the attack. In Slaviansk, the self-styled separatist mayor sa
Added by And Finally 16 hours ago
Llamas, repiles, ducks and goats were among the animals sprinkled with holy water at the annual Blessing of the Animals in LA. Report by Nathoom. Like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/itn and follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/itn
Added by reuters 20 hours ago
It's the first official tour for Britain's newest addition to the Royal family...and this was Prince George's first official engagement in Australia. The eight-month-old helped unveil a plaque marking the dedication of a bilby enclosure in his name at Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The third-in-line to the British throne seemed enthusiastic about the furry creatures in the flesh...less so about the toy version. His parents William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, handed him back to his nanny for a nap at that point. That left them free to see the rest of the zoo and some of Australia's native wildlife before heading on to Canberra to meet the Governor-General and Foreign Minister.
Added by reuters 20 hours ago
For days many of those waiting for news of loved ones missing in the South Korea ferry disaster have clung to the hope they might still be alive. By Sunday it was becoming evident that hope was gone. Mourners attended funerals for some of the casualties of Danwon High School whose students and staff formed the majority of those on board when the ferry capsized. They included 18-year-old Jang Jin-Yong whose coffin was carried by his schoolmates. Also teacher Nam Yun-Chul, hailed a hero by survivors who said he'd gone to find his students as the ship turned over. By late Sunday afternoon at least 56 people had been confirmed dead. Another 246 were still unaccounted for. As South Korea faced its worst maritime disaster in 21 years, nearly 15, 000 worshippers turned out to mark Easter Sunday with prayers for the missing. The captain and two crew have been arrested on charges including negligence of duty. Investigators are still trying t
Added by reuters 22 hours ago
In the Ukrainian city of Slaviansk pro-Russian separatists are proclaiming a regional republic. They're here in support of fellow separatists refusing to leave public buildings they've occupied despite an international agreement to end such actions. In Moscow President Vladimir Putin attends a church service for Easter commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Ukraine's prime minister says he's worried how far Putin might go to resurrect the former Soviet Union. (SOUNDBITE)(English) UKRAINE PRIME MINISTER ARSENY YATSENIUK SAYING: "I believe that you do remember his famous Munich speech saying that the biggest disaster of the former century is the collapse of the Soviet Union. I consider that the biggest disaster of this century would be the restoring of the Soviet Union under the auspices of President Putin." Mediators from the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe arrived in Kiev on Saturday on a mission to ease the tensions.
PLEASE NOTE: CONTAINS STILL IMAGES OF MIXED SIZES This is the Bluefin-21 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle search teams are using in the hunt for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 and its 239 passengers and crew. The remote controlled submarine has spent the past week scouring the largely unmapped stretch of ocean floor about 2, 000 kilometres northwest of Perth for signs of the plane. The air, surface and underwater search has narrowed its target range to a 10 kilometre circle of sea floor. Bluefin-21 is now on its eighth deep sea mission with no sign of wreckage so far. The search for flight MH370 entered its 44th day on Sunday with the mystery still unsolved. Hopes for further black box signals are fading as their batteries are now two weeks past their expected 30-day lifespan. As aircraft and ships again joined the search Malaysian authorities said the operation was at a critical point and asked for prayers for its success.
Pakistani journalist and talk show host Hamid Mir was shot by gunmen at this spot in Karachi on Saturday. He was on his way from the airport to his office when the attackers struck. Police said he was hit in the stomach and legs but is expected to survive. (SOUNDBITE)(U rdu) SENIOR POLICE OFFICIAL, PIR MOHAMMAD SHAH, SAYING: "A man wearing a shalwar kameez opened fire first. Another man was following him on a motorbike and came up behind him. At the same time the driver of Mr Mir's car along with the guard sped away. The attackers chased after them but the driver wasn't hit, praise be to God, otherwise the damage would have been far worse had he stopped." In November 2012 a bomb was found under Mir's car. He'd received threats from the Pakistan Taliban over his coverage of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by militants.
A South Korean coastguard ship carries to shore more bodies from the capsized ferry - and the end of hope for waiting relatives. By Sunday the number of confirmed dead had risen to at least 49. What's been referred to as a rescue operation now appears a grim search for more than 200 mostly school students still unaccounted for after Wednesday's ferry capsize. Distraught relatives struggled with police as they tried to reach the presidential Blue House in Seoul to complain about the speed of the recovery operation. (SOUNDBITE)(Korean) BAE SUN-OK, MOTHER OF MISSING STUDENT, SAYING: "Take out my child, take out my child, please. I've heard they're all dead. Bring me the body so that I can see the face and hug my child. What am I going to do? They're probably dead already." The ferry capsized with 476 passengers and crew on board. Most were pupils or teachers from one single high school. The captain and two crew members have been arrested