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FRANCE: Arson attack at newspaper

French politicians and Muslim leaders denounced an arson attack early Wednesday that destroyed the offices of a satirical newspaper after it "invited" the Prophet Muhammad as its guest editor this week. No one was injured in the fire in the offices of Charlie Hébdo, a weekly in eastern Paris, hours before the latest issue hit the newsstands. A witness said he saw two firebombs thrown at the building. The newspaper director, who goes by Charb, blamed "radical stupid people who don't know what Islam is." The front-page of the weekly, subtitled "Sharia Hébdo," showed a cartoon-like man with a turban, white robe and beard smiling and saying, "100 lashes if you don't die laughing."


SYRIA: Arab League terms accepted

Syria accepted an Arab League proposal calling for it to withdraw armored vehicles from the streets and stop violence against protesters in a bid to end the country's 7-month-old political crisis that has led to the deaths of 3,000 people. The agreement was announced by Qatar Foreign Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who urged Damascus to follow through with action on the ground. Syria has continued its bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters despite international condemnation and previous promises of reform. In the latest violence, machine-gun fire and explosions erupted inside Homs as activists reported two grisly attacks that killed 20 people in 24 hours, although it was not clear who was behind the latest attacks. Syria also agreed to release all political prisoners and to allow journalists, rights groups and Arab League representatives to monitor the situation in the country.


BRITAIN: Court rules against Assange

In a major setback for Julian Assange in London's High Court, two judges rejected the WikiLeaks leader's move to block extradition to face questioning in Sweden over suspected rape and molestation cases. Officials said Wednesday that Assange plans to try to take the case to Britain's Supreme Court.

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