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December 04, 2012 - Image 6

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The Michigan Daily, 2012-12-04

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6 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.cvm

6 - Tuesday, December 4, 2012 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom


U.N. pulls staff from Syria

Britons rejoice, Palace
annouces pregnancy

Fears rise as
rebel forces near
BEIRUT (AP) - Fighting
between rebels and government
forces raged near the Syrian
capital Damascus on Monday,
forcing.an inbound commercial
jet to turn back while the U.N.
said it was withdrawing staff
because of deteriorating secu-
rity conditions.
Lebanese security officials
said Jihad Makdissi, a polished
Foreign Ministry spokesman
known for defending the regime
of President Bashar Assad in flu-
ent English, flew from Beirut to
London. But it was not imme-
diately clear whether he had
The fighting over the past few
weeks in and around Damascus
has been the most serious in the
capital since July, when rebels
captured several neighborhoods
before a swiftgovernment coun-
teroffensive swept them out.
The spike in violence recently
is concentrated in the ring of
mostly poor suburbs around
Damascus but often bleeds into
the capital itself as rebels bring
their fight closer to Assad's seat
of power. Assad's forces have so
far repelled major rebel advanc-
es on the capital, though their
hold maybe slipping.
"The security situation has
become extremely difficult,
including in Damascus,". said
Radhouane Nouicer, the U.N.'s
regional humanitarian coordi-
nator for Syria.
Nouicer said the U.N. was
withdrawing most of its inter-
national staff from Syria due to
security issues, adding that up
to one quarter of the 100 inter-
national staff working for sev-
eral U.N. agencies could leave by
week's end. There are about 900
more local staff working for the
U.N. in Syria, officials said.
U.N. teams are also stopping
most staff trips outside Damas-
In another sign of deteriorat-
ing security, an Egyptian com-
mercial jet aborted a trip to.
Damascus in mid-flight because
of violence near the airport.
The EgyptAir flight from Cairo
rerouted about 30 minutes after
takeoff because Egyptian offi-

cials received word from their
counterparts in Damascus that
the area near the airport was not
safe, Egyptian airport officials
EgyptAir canceled all further
flights to Syria for Monday and
Tuesday and will decide later
whether to resume flights later
in the week, the officials said,
speaking on condition of ano-
nymity because they were not
authorized to speak to report-
EgyptAir had just resumed
flights following a three-day
suspension because of violence
near the airport.
Emirates airlines said on its
website that all flights to Syria
were suspended "until further
The Britain-based opposition
activist group Syrian Observa-
tory for Human Rights said the
clashes were within three kilo-
meters (2 miles) of the airport,
which lies about 25 kilometers
(15 miles) southeast of the city
center. The state news service
reported clashes in an area
about 15 kilometers (9 miles)
from the airport. It said nothing
about flight cancelations.
More than 40,000 people
have been killed since the Syrian
revolt started in March last year.
Leaders of Russia - a key
supporter of the Assad regime
- and opposition ally Turkey
discussed disagreements over
After talks in Istanbul, Rus-
sian President Vladimir Putin
said that the deployment of
NATO antiaircraft missiles
along the Turkish border could
make the conflict worse.
"Creating a new potential on
the border will not settle the
situation but rather exacerbate
it," he said. "Why would we need
more shelling on the border?"
The two countries are firmly
enmeshed in Syria's conflict, on
opposite sides. Russia continues
to back Assad, thrice protecting
his regime from censure by the
U.N. Security Council. Turkey
has called for Assad's ouster and
its southern border with Turkey
has become a key supply line for
rebel forces.
Lebanese security officials
said Makdissi, the Foreign Min-
istry spokesman known for
defending Assad crackdown on
the opposition as necessary mil-

itary action against "terrorists,"
flew from Beirut to London. It
was not immediately known
whether he had abandoned the
regime and he did not respond
to phone calls.
The officials spoke on condi-
tion of anonymity because they
were not authorized to brief the
The U.S. has so far declined
to intervene in Syria's civil war,
saying doing so could worsen the
U.S. officials said the White
House and its allies are weigh-
ing 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.
President Barack Obama
pointedly warned Assad on'
Monday not to use the weapons.
"Today I want to make it
absolutely clear to Assad and
those under his command: The
world is watching," Obama
said in a speech at the National
Defense University. "The use of
chemical weapons is and would
be totally unaer"ptable. And if
you make the tragic mistake of
using these weapons, there will
be consequences and you will be
held accountable."
Secretary of State Hillary
Rodham Clinton, in Prague for
meetings with Czech officials,
said she wouldn't outline any
"But suffice it to say, we
are certainly planning to tuke
action if that eventuality were to
occur," Clinton said.
Options now being consid-
ered range from aerial strikes to
limited raids by regional forces
to secure the stockpiles, accord-
ing to one current U.S. official,
and one former U.S. official,
briefed on the matter. The offi-
cials spok- .. condition of ano-
nymity because they were not
authorized to discuss the matter
Syria is believed to have sev-
eral hundred ballistic surface-
to-surface missiles capable of
carrying chemical warheads,
and a U.S. defense official said
American and allied intelligence
officials have detected activity
around more than one of Syria's
chemical weapons sites in the
last week.

William and Kate's
child will be third in
line to the throne
Britain doesn't have to wait
any longer: Prince William's
wife, Kate, is pregnant.
St. James's Palace made the
announcement Monday, saying
that the Duchess of Cambridge -
formerly Kate Middleton - has a
severe form of morning sickness
and is currently ina London hos-
pital. William was at his wife's
The news drew congratula-
tions from around the world,
with the hashtag "royalbaby"
trending globally on Twitter.
The couple's first child will
be third in line to the throne -
behind William and his father,
Prince Charles - leapfrogging
the gregarious Prince Harry
and possibly set':.. up the first
scenario in which a female heir
could benefit from new gender
rules about succession.
The palace would not say how
far along the 30-year-old duch-
ess is, only that she has not yet
reached the 12-week mark.
Palace officials said the duch-
ess was hospitalized with hyper-
emesis gravidarum, a severe
form of morning sickness that
affects about1 in 200 women and
can lead to dehydration or worse
if left untreated. They said she
was expected to remain hospital-
ized for several days and would
require a period of rest after-
Until Monday's announce-
ment, the duchess had shown
no signs of being with child. She
was photographed just last week
bounding across a field clad in
black high-heeled boots as she
played field hockey with stu-
dents at her former school.
Still, speculation has swirled
about when she and William
would start a family from almost
the moment they were wed on
April 29, 2011, in a lavish ceremo-
.ny at Westminster Abbey.
The attractive young couple
is immensely popular - with
William's easy common touch
reminding many of his mother,
the late Princess Diana - and


Britain's Kate Duchess of Cambridge meets with a young member of the public.

their child is expected to play an
important role in British nation-
al life for decades to come.
For months, Kate's every
move has been scrutinized for
clues about a possible -pregnan-
cy - from each time she touched
her stomach to whether her
outfit choices hinted at a baby
In September, tongues wagged
over why she might be avoiding
alcohol when the duchess opted
to toast with a glass of ice w ager
instead of champagne during a
banquet in Singapore.
Last week, the rumor mill
kicked into high eo -..
beaming William ' accepted a
baby outfit from a well-wisher
that bore the phrase, "Daddy's
little co-pilot."
"I'll keep that," he reportedly
The confirmation of Kate's
pregnancy caps a jam-packed
year of highs and lows for the
young royals.
They have traveled the world
extensively as part of Queen

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RELEASE DATE- Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle
Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubi-
lee celebrations and weathered
the embarrassment of a nude
photos scandal, after a tabloid
published topless images of the
Joe Little, managing editor
of Majesty magazine, said the
news ended a year that saw the
royal family riding high in popu-
lar esteem after celebrations of
Queen Elizabeth II's 60 years on
"People enjoyed the royal
romance last year and now
there's this. It's just a good news
story amid all the doom and
gloom," he said.
In the chilly night air at Lon-
don's Camden market, concert-
goers and shoppers seemed
surprised by the news - though
all agreed that it had been widely
"It feels a lot like a Christmas
present for the nation!" said
Ravitn 'an Den Hil, a Dutch
student studyig in London. "It
makes me feel quite happy."
Others wondered why Britain
continues to spend so much to
support the royal family. "I don't
think ,. a good thing," said Ste-
phen Jowitt as he strolled down
Camden High Street. "It rein-
forces a class system."
The palace said the royal
family was "delighted" by the
British Prime Minister David
Cameron admitted he got a
heads-up about tIe pregnancy,
saying he found the news "quite
difficult" to keep to himself
and expressing confidence the
young couple will make "abso-
lutely brilliant parents."
The pregnancy comes after
a 2011 decision by the leaders
of Britain and the 15 Common-
wealth nations endorsing new
rules that give girls equal status
with boys in the order of succes-
sion. Those changes make Kate's
pregnancy all the more signifi-
cant for the royal fatnily, said
Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief
of Majesty magazine.
"This is the first child who
will be an heir to thethrone,
whatever sex they are," she said.
"It's a new beginning."
Like Kate, William's mother,
Diana, also reportedly suf-
fered from morning sickness
for months, and was the sub-
ject of constant media attention
after she became pregnant just
four months after her wedding
to Prince Charles. "The whole
world is watching my stomach,"
Diana once said.
According to Britain's
Department of Health, severe
morning sickness most often
affects women early in their
pregnancy, and is more common
in young women, women who
are pregnant for the first time
and those expecting multiple
Dr. Daghni Rajasingam, a
spokeswoman for Britain's
Royal College of Obstetricians
and Gynaecologists, said women
with severe symptoms - includ-
ing dehydration, dizziness and
persistent vomiting - need to
be hospitalized for treatment,
including being given fluids


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27- and 47-
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