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Syria: 77 civilians killed in regime bombardment

At least 77 civilians have been killed near Damascus in less than 24 hours in heavy bombardment by Syrian government forces as they prepare a ground operation to recapture the opposition-held enclave, a war monitor group said.  Read more.
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Mexico: 6.0 Magnitude Quake

A 6.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Mexico, early Monday. The quake is the second major tremor to hit the country in less than a week.
The quake hit 43 kilometers east of Oaxaca at a depth of 10 kilometers. There are currently no reports of lives lost or infrastructural damage. The quake struck at 12:57 a.m, according to the USGS.  Read more.

At White House Lie-In, Teens Call on Congress to 'Protect Kids, Not Guns'

Building on the nationwide mourning and outrage that followed a Florida school shooting last week that left 17 people dead, dozens of teenagers held a "lie-in" at the gates of the White House on Monday to protest years of congressional inaction on gun control and highlight the National Rifle Association's pernicious influence on the political process.  Read more.

Memories and Monuments: Destruction as a Path to Progress

Is the past ever really the past?   The history of humanity is filled with conflict and torment mixed with episodes of heroic struggle and bittersweet victories that resonate still today.  Books and buildings can represent cultural shifts that champion historic milestones, as can artistic monuments cast and carved in wood, metal or stone.
Art, architecture and other cultural artifacts can unite or divide, depending on who you ask.  So what’s the role of preservation in times of social and political upheaval, and does a strong desire for change justify censorship or demolition?  Read more.

A New 'Cancer Alley' for Appalachia

Why the Right Wing Is So Interested in Narrowing Down Education into 'Skills'

When California home health aide Maya Luna signed up for community college several years ago, she was after one thing: a better paying job. But taking classes in subjects like history, anthropology and art ignited a love of learning she didn’t know she had, and transformed her into a community activist. A clear success, right? Not if your goal is to mold the next generation of compliant employees.  Read more.

Iran denies 'hegemon' plans, denounces Saudi and Israel

Iran deflected accusations by Saudi Arabia and Israel that it was destabilising the Middle East, calling the two "US client states" who were trying to gloss over their "poor choices" and "strategic blunders". 
Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir joined Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in blaming Iran for rising regional tensions, at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday.  Read more.