SYRIA: Pilot defects with MiG to Jordan

A Syrian fighter pilot on a training mission flew his MiG-21 warplane to neighboring Jordan, where he was given asylum Thursday in a defection from the fiercely loyal air force that signals some of the most ironclad allegiances in Damascus could be fraying. Syria immediately denounced him as a traitor. It was the first defection by an air force officer since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. Col. Hassan Hammadeh removed his air force tag and knelt on the tarmac in prayer after landing at King Hussein Air Base in Mafraq, Jordan, north of Amman.


PARAGUAY: President impeached over the poor

Lawmakers voted to impeach President Fernando Lugo for his role in a deadly clash involving landless farmers and announced that the former Roman Catholic bishop's impeachment trial would begin Friday in the Senate. Lugo, elected four years ago on promises that he would help the poor, went on national television to dismiss rumors that he would resign. The lower house voted 76-1 on Thursday to impeach him. In a poor, landlocked country with a history of political instability, the vote prompted frightened residents in Asunción to shutter businesses and pull children out of schools. Hospitals were put on alert, freeing up beds in case of possible violence.


KENYA: 6 lions speared after attacking goats

Springing from tall savannah grass, the lions tore through the flesh of eight goats. Dogs barked, women screamed and men with the rank of warrior in a village of Maasai tribesman gathered their spears. Kenya Wildlife Service rangers responded to the attack, but arrived without a veterinarian and no way to tranquilize the eight lions and remove them from Ilkeek-Lemedung'I, a settlement of mud and stone homes not far from the edges of Nairobi National Park. In the end, the Maasai, who come from a tribe renowned for hunting skills, grew tired of waiting, said Charity Kingangir, whose father's goats were attacked Wednesday. The men speared the lions, killing six: two adult lionesses, two younger lions and two cubs. The lions had killed eight goats, each worth about $60. The killings highlight the growing threat to wildlife posed by the rapid expansion of Nairobi.

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