SYRIA: 23 killed in new attacks

A surge of bloodshed was reported in central Hama province late Wednesday, with at least 23 people killed. The reported killings are likely to ignite new anger nearly two weeks after the massacre of more than 100 people in Houla. The exact circumstances of the violence in Hama were impossible to confirm independently. The Obama administration, meanwhile, warned Syria that UN sanctions may be near, as Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton headed to Turkey to talk strategy with allies. Russia and China issued a joint statement opposing any imposing of "regime change" in Syria.

PALESTINIANS: Fatah, Hamas declare agreement

A Palestinian official said after a meeting in Cairo that the rival parties have agreed on a new government, a major step toward reconciliation and overdue elections. Fatah and Hamas reached an accord last year but failed to implement it. The Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority rules in the West Bank, while Hamas is in control of Gaza. Fatah delegation member Sakher Beseiso said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Khaled Mashaal of Hamas would meet June 20 in Cairo to approve a new cabinet.

CANADA: Notes sent with body parts

Police investigating the grisly killing of a Chinese student said Wednesday that mailed packages containing the man's body parts also included notes. Jun Lin's left hand and left foot were mailed last week to Canada's top political parties in Ottawa. The investigation spread as more body parts were mailed from Montreal to two schools in Vancouver. Those parcels contained a right hand and a right foot, and police said they would conduct DNA tests to confirm a match. The victim's head is still unaccounted for. The parcels mailed to the Conservative and Liberal parties and at least one of the Vancouver packages contained a note, police said, but they declined to say to whom they were addressed or what they said, for fear of encouraging copycat crimes.

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