Egyptian protesters, police clash at palace Syrian rebels slam Assad inaction Mali jihadists claim torture 33 die in Mexico office blast
CAIRO -- Protesters denouncing Egypt's Islamist president hurled stones and firebombs through the gates of his palace gates on Friday, clashing with security forces who fired tear gas and water cannons, as more than a week of political violence came to Mohammed Morsi's symbolic doorstep for the first time.
The streets outside the presidential palace were a scene of mayhem for hours into the night.
Security forces pumped volley after volley of tear gas, set fire to protester tents and at one point dragged a protester to the ground, stripped him and beat him. Protesters burned tires and hurled stones and fireworks. A 23-year-old died when he was shot in the chest and forehead, the Health Ministry said.
The march on the palace, where Morsi was not present, was part of a wave of demonstrations in cities around the country called by opposition politicians, trying to wrest concessions from Morsi after around 60 people were killed in protests, clashes and riots.
BEIRUT -- Syrian opposition leaders and rebels on Friday slammed President Bashar Assad for not responding to a rare Israeli airstrike near Damascus, calling it proof of his weakness and acquiescence to the Jewish State.
The opposition's sharp reaction underlines how those seeking to topple the Syrian leader might be more prepared to tangle with Israel if they came to power.
Wednesday's Israeli airstrike that U.S. officials say hit a convoy of anti-aircraft weapons bound for the militant Lebanese Hezbollah group also has fueled rage among many Syrians who say they now must fear warplanes from both Assad's forces and Israel.
TIMBUKTU, Mali -- Three suspected jihadists arrested in the days since the liberation of Timbuktu said Friday that Malian soldiers were torturing them with a method similar to waterboarding.
The three are being held in an earthen cell in what remains of the military camp in the town, which was freed this week by French and Malian soldiers after nearly 10 months under radical Islamist rule.
Their allegations came as French President Francois Hollande prepared to fly to Mali on Saturday, nearly four weeks after the French-led operation began in the vast West African country.
The three suspects, who were tied together with a turban and one handcuff, all acknowledged to The Associated Press having been members of the al-Qaida-linked group known as Ansar Dine, or Defenders of the Faith.
MEXICO CITY -- A blast that collapsed the lower floors of a building in the headquarters of Mexico's state-owned oil company, crushing at least 33 people beneath tons of rubble and injuring 121, is being looked at as an accident although all lines of investigation remain open, the head of Petroleos Mexicanos said Friday.
As hundreds of emergency workers dug through the rubble, the company's worst disaster in a decade was fueling debate about the state of Pemex, a vital source of government revenue that is suffering from decades of underinvestment and has been hit by a recent series of accidents that have tarnished its otherwise improving safety record.
Until now, virtually all the accidents had hit its petroleum infrastructure, not its office buildings.
Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has pledged to open the oil behemoth to more private and foreign investment, setting off warnings among leftists about the privatization of an enterprise seen as one of the pillars of the Mexican state. Pena Nieto has provided few details of the reform he will propose but denies any plan to privatize Pemex.