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One is the outbreak of another war between Israel and its neighbors. A reminder of this danger has come from events that began when Israel said it shot down an Iranian drone that had entered its airspace. Israeli F-16s then attacked a command center in Syria, during which Syrian air defenses downed one of the Israeli warplanes (a rare event for Israel). Israel subsequently launched a much more widespread set of aerial attacks within Syria. The Israelis have conducted scores of attacks in Syria over the last five years, but this most recent assault may have been the largest Israeli attack there since the 1980s. A new war involving Israel would surely also involve Lebanese Hezbollah. There is no indication that Hezbollah seeks such a war. The group has incurred significant costs by participating in fighting within Syria and has many wounds to lick. Its leaders still have regrets about the brinksmanship that last got Hezbollah entangled in a war with Israel. Even though it could get in some hits with cross-border rocket fire, the group’s leaders know that in a new clash it would get badly bloodied by its militarily more capable foe.
A Pakistani court Saturday handed four death sentences to a man charged with raping and murdering a six-year-old girl, in a case that shocked the country and sparked major riots in his home district. Imran Ali, 24, was on trial for killing Zainab Fatima Ameen in the eastern city of Kasur last month. Ali was handed four separate death sentences after being convicted of the rape and murder of Zainab, as well as terrorism charges, prosecutor general of Punjab province Ihtesham Qadir said after a special anti-terrorism court passed its judgement.
Twenty-three members of the same family have been removed from a cruise ship near Sydney after a brawl that left several injured, reports said, just days after a separate incident forced another liner to return to port. Police removed the group, which included men, women and children, from the boat on Friday after it docked in Sydney on a 10-day South Pacific cruise. One witness told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation she had seen seven separate fights break out during the trip.
The Guantanamo trial of the chief suspect in the deadly 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen was shut down Friday as defense lawyers refused to return to the case, Pentagon officials said. Military commissions judge Air Force Colonel Vance Spath halted the case, which could lead to the death penalty for Abdel Rahim al-Nashiri, in frustration that he could not compel Nashiri's main lawyers to show up in court. "The USS Cole bombing trial ... military judge has abated indefinitely the pre-trial proceedings," Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Sarah Higgins said.
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