LOS CABOS, Mexico – Hurricane Paul has weakened to a Category 2 storm in the eastern Pacific but is still swirling near Mexico’s western coast.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami said late Monday that the storm was centered about 310 miles southwest of the Baja California peninsula’s southern tip.
Paul is on track to bypass the heavily populated tourist areas of Los Cabos and the capital, La Paz.
In the Atlantic, meanwhile, Rafael reached hurricane strength late Monday south of Bermuda, making it the ninth hurricane of the Atlantic season. It is forecast to pass near or to the east of Bermuda by late today.
Syrian mosque trashed in fighting
BEIRUT – A landmark mosque in Aleppo was burned, scarred by bullets and trashed – the latest casualty of Syria’s civil war – and President Bashar Assad on Monday ordered immediate repairs to try to stem Muslim outrage at the desecration of the 12th-century site.
The Umayyad Mosque suffered extensive damage, as has the nearby medieval covered market, or souk, which was gutted by a fire. The market and the mosque are centerpieces of Aleppo’s walled Old City, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Bombings in Iraq leave eight dead
BAGHDAD – A string of insurgent attacks including three car bombs in an ethnically divided northern city killed eight people across Iraq today.
Brig. Gen. Sarhad Qadir, police commander of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, said back-to-back detonations of a parked-car bomb and a roadside bomb in a parking lot near the provincial council building killed one civilian and injured 15. Another car bomb went off in a residential area in the same city, wounding five. A third car bomb struck a passing police patrol near Kirkuk, killing two policemen and wounding three others.