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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Rebels attack sprawling air base in northern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels attacked a sprawling military air base in the country's northwest on Saturday, while in the south opposition forces assaulted a string of army checkpoints and positions, activists said. The raids follow nearly two weeks of advances by Syrian troops, mostly in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and areas near the Lebanese border in the central province of Homs.

Obama in Israel for first trip as president

TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — President Barack Obama plunged into the turbulent Middle East Wednesday, assuring Israel of the U.S. commitment to its security while cautioning that the region's "winds of change bring both promise and peril." Obama declared common cause with Israel, noting that it was the first stop of the first trip of his second term and calling the U.S. Israel's "strongest ally and your greatest friend."

VIDEO: Meteor explodes over Russia, 1,000 injured

MOSCOW — A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb Friday, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring nearly 1,000 people. The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end.

Obama’s ‘red line’ may be giving Assad an opening

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's chemical weapons position on Syria may have given Bashar Assad an unintended opening: The embattled Syrian leader appears willing to use other deadly tactics, including Scud missiles, without fear of U.S. retaliation. The White House casts Assad's escalation against rebel forces as a sign of his growing desperation as his opposition gets stronger and enjoys more international support, including from the United States. But some human rights groups and Middle East experts say Obama's "red line" has given Assad a green light to launch attacks on his own people through other conventional means.

US set to boost ties with Syrian opposition

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is getting ready to tighten its ties to Syria's main opposition group, a step in the intensifying diplomacy that officials hope will craft an end to Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled regime. Officials say the administration is on track to recognize the new Syrian opposition council as the sole legitimate representative of the Syrian people at an international conference on the crisis in Morocco this week.

Panetta says Syria chemical threat has slowed

KUWAIT CITY (AP) — The Syrian government seems to have slowed preparations for the possible use of chemical weapons against rebel targets, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Tuesday. Last week, U.S. officials said there was evidence that Syrian forces had begun preparing sarin, a nerve agent, for possible use in bombs.

US weighing military options if Syria uses WMD

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House and its allies are weighing military options to secure Syria's chemical and biological weapons, after U.S. intelligence reports show the Syrian regime may be readying those weapons and may be desperate enough to use them, U.S. officials said Monday. President Barack Obama, in a speech at the National Defense University on Monday, pointedly warned Syrian President Bashar Assad not to use his arsenal.

Obama warns Syria against using chemical weapons

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama warned Syria on Monday that the use of chemical weapons would be "totally unacceptable" and that the country's leaders would be held accountable. Obama said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad made the "tragic mistake" of deploying chemical weapons, there would be consequences. Obama stopped short of detailing those consequences.

WH: Syrian use chem weapons would cross ‘red line’

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it is increasingly concerned that the beleaguered regime in Syria might be considering use of chemical weapons against its own people and warned that doing so would "cross a red line." White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday that U.S. officials are closely monitoring Syria's proliferation of sensitive materials and facilities, as opposition to the Syrian government grows.

Syria says won’t use chemical weapons on Syrians

WASHINGTON (AP) — WASHINGTON (AP) — Syria says it would never use chemical weapons against its own people. Monday's statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Damascus is in response to reports in Washington that U.S. and allied intelligence have detected Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days.

Official: Syria moving chemical weapons components

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. and allied intelligence have detected Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days, a senior U.S. defense official said Monday, as the Obama administration strongly warned the Assad regime against using them. A senior defense official said intelligence officials have detected activity around more than one of Syria's chemical weapons sites in the last week. The defense official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about intelligence matters.

Clinton warns Syria on chemical weapons use anew

PRAGUE (AP) — The Obama administration stressed anew Monday that it wouldn't accept any use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, but didn't say if it had any new evidence to suggest a possible deployment of the stockpiles by the embattled Syrian government. Speaking in Prague, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reiterated President Barack Obama's declaration that Syrian action on chemical weapons was "red line" for the United States that would prompt action. She didn't address news reports suggesting fresh activity at Syrian chemical weapons depots, but insisted that Washington would address any threat that arises.

US sends forces to Jordan as check on Syria

BRUSSELS (AP) — The United States has sent troops to Jordan to bolster its military capabilities in the event Syria's civil war escalates, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday, reflecting U.S. concerns about the conflict spilling over allies' borders and about the security of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal. Speaking at a NATO conference of defense ministers, Panetta said the U.S. has been working with Jordan to monitor chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria and also to help Jordan deal with refugees pouring over the border from Syria.

Workers to destroy chemical weapons in Northwest

Workers in northeast Oregon today are expected to begin incinerating the last of the chemical weapons stored in the Northwest as part of the U.S. stockpile, ending a nearly 50-year presence in the region and whittling the number of storage sites nationwide to three.