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In brief: Syrian army reopens critical supply route

BEIRUT – Syrian troops wrested control of a key road linking the government-held heartland with the embattled northern city of Aleppo, reopening the crucial supply route after heavy fighting with rebels, state media and activists said Monday.

Government forces and opposition fighters have been locked in a bloody, block-by-block fight for Aleppo since rebels launched an assault on the city 15 months ago. The battle has been locked in a stalemate, with neither side willing to relent with control of Syria’s largest city at stake.

After the rebels cut the main north-south highway late last year, President Bashar Assad’s regime built a desert road to bypass contested areas. Opposition fighters responded by severing the alternate route – a winding road that runs northeast from the city of Hama – in August.

Regime troops reopened that road late Sunday.

Argentina’s president having brain surgery

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina’s president will undergo surgery today to remove blood between her brain and skull that has been causing new and worrying symptoms, her physicians said.

The president’s doctors said they had ordered President Cristina Fernandez on Saturday to rest for a month after discovering the subdural hematoma, a clot inside her skull pressuring her brain and causing headaches. In some patients, such blood clots reabsorb by themselves over time.

But the situation became more urgent after Fernandez felt a weakness and numbness in her upper left arm Sunday evening, according to doctors at the Fundacion Favaloro, one of Argentina’s top cardiology hospitals.

Neuroscience project with big budget begins

GENEVA – A Swiss university has launched what it calls the world’s most ambitious neuroscience project with a budget of $1.6 billion.

The Human Brain Project, co-funded by the European Union, plans to use supercomputers to model the brain and then simulate drugs and treatments for diseases that cost hundreds of billions of dollars annually in Europe alone.

The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne held initial meetings Monday with scientists from 135 partner institutions.

Buckingham Palace hosts first soccer match

LONDON – It’s all well and good to play soccer on the beautiful lawns at Buckingham Palace, but don’t break a window.

That was Prince William’s message Monday in advance of the first-ever competitive match held on the extensive palace grounds.

“I cannot tell you how excited I am that later today we will be playing football on my grandmother’s lawn,” he said before the game. “One warning, though: If anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.”

The game featured two amateur teams, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, playing in a Southern Amateur League match. Polytechnic won 2-1.

The soccer pitch easily fit in the 39 acres of gardens, amid lakes and flowerbeds.


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