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SYRIA: Call for human corridors

France pushed Wednesday for humanitarian corridors in Syria, a bid unlikely to win UN Security Council backing but part of a diplomatic effort to pressure Russia. President François Hollande met in Paris with a delegation of the opposition Syrian National Coalition and said France is working on "corridors that will possibly be opened to give necessary aid to the population." Such corridors, presumably guarded by international forces, would need the approval of a Security Council resolution. Russia and China have already vetoed three resolutions aimed at pressuring President Bashar Assad's regime. In Syria, a senior UN team tasked with investigating the alleged use of chemical weapons in the civil war met officials in Damascus to hammer out the terms for their investigation.

IRELAND: Abortion bill awaits

Justice Minister Alan Shatter declared Wednesday that Ireland must end the "great cruelty" that requires women to give birth to infants who are the products of rape or have fatal genetic defects. The predominantly Catholic country's first-ever bill on abortion was sent to President Michael D. Higgins for his signature. The bill, overwhelmingly passed by both houses of parliament, permits abortions, but only in cases in which doctors deem the woman's life at risk from continued pregnancy. A 31-year-old Indian woman died last year in an Irish hospital after being denied an abortion during a protracted miscarriage that ended in toxic shock and massive organ failure.

INDIA: Principal held in poisoning

Meena Devi, 35, principal at a primary school where 23 children died last week after eating free lunches contaminated with pesticide, was arrested Wednesday on murder and criminal conspiracy charges. She was caught after eight days on the run in Chhapra, where the tragedy occurred in northern Bihar state. A total of 24 children along with Manju Devi, the woman who cooked the meal, remain in the hospital.

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