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SYRIA: Blogger on abuses arrested by regime

A U.S.-born Syrian blogger has been charged by authorities with trying to incite sectarian strife, activists said Tuesday. In a restive northwestern region, meanwhile, regime forces fired on a funeral procession, capping a bloody day of attacks that left 28 people dead. Razan Ghazzawi, 31, is the latest among dozens of activists, journalists and bloggers who have been detained since the revolt against President Bashar Assad began nine months ago, triggering a brutal crackdown that the UN estimates has killed more than 5,000 people and put thousands into lockups. Ghazzawi had been documenting human rights abuses, and was arrested Dec. 4.


TUNISIA: Rights activist takes over as president

Promising an end to decades of autocracy, a veteran human rights activist was sworn in Tuesday as president of the country that inspired the Arab Spring uprisings. Moncef Marzouki, who was imprisoned and exiled for years for opposing former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, said in Tunis he would be a leader "for all Tunisians." "Other nations are watching us as a laboratory of democracy," he said. Marzouki, 66, who heads the secular center-left Congress for the Republic party, was elected by a ruling coalition dominated by moderate Islamists.


LIBYA: Crowds demand more in transition

Libyans took to the streets of Tripoli and Benghazi on Tuesday, accusing the ruling National Transitional Council of being too secretive about its membership structure and finances. "We sacrificed a lot in this war," said Salwa Bugaighis, a lawyer and a former member of the NTC before she resigned over a lack of transparency in its decision- making process.

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