BEIRUT – An al-Qaida-inspired group claimed responsibility for dozens of attacks across Syria, the latest evidence that extremists are exploiting the chaos to make inroads in another Middle Eastern country.
The Syrian regime has long blamed terrorists for the 16-month-old revolt, and the presence of al-Qaida groups creates new difficulties for Arab and Western countries trying to help force President Bashar Assad from power.
On Tuesday, the SITE monitoring group, which tracks jihadist chatter on the Internet, said the Al-Nusra Front released statements on extremist websites in late June claiming the attacks were to avenge the killings of Syrians by the government.
25 service members become US citizens
President Obama marked Independence Day by welcoming two dozen U.S. service members as newly sworn American citizens, saying the contributions they have already made dramatize the need for Washington to achieve comprehensive immigration reform.
The 25 active duty U.S. service members who became citizens Wednesday hailed from 17 different countries, including Mexico, Nigeria and Russia. Only legal immigrant status, not citizenship, is required for military enlistment.
Lifeguard fired for helping swimmer
A lifeguard helped save a drowning man and got fired for it. The reason: He left the section of a south Florida beach his company is paid to patrol.
The Sun Sentinel reported that Tomas Lopez was on duty Monday at Hallandale Beach when a beachgoer asked for help. Lopez said he ran to assist a man struggling in the water south of his post.
His employer, Jeff Ellis and Associates, says Lopez broke a company rule and could have put beachgoers in his section in jeopardy.
Iran: Attack will bring retaliation
Iran declared Wednesday that it can destroy nearby U.S. military bases and strike Israel within minutes of an attack on the Islamic Republic, reflecting tensions over Irans suspect nuclear program.
The veiled threat came during a military drill that has included the firing of ballistic missiles. The elite Revolutionary Guards, conducting the war games in Irans central desert, said that the missiles were aimed at mock-ups of foreign military bases.
Japan again using nuclear power
A nuclear reactor in western Japan has begun generating electricity in the first restart since last years tsunami led to a nationwide nuclear power plant shutdown.
The No. 3 reactor at the Ohi nuclear plant went back on the grid early this morning, according to the plants operator. Japan had been without nuclear power since May.
Worried student faked kidnapping
Police in the Brazilian Amazon say a college student has confessed to faking her own kidnapping as an excuse for not handing in a year-end university project.
Para states civil police say on their website that 22-year-old Susan Paola Fadel Correia initially alleged she was abducted last week by three men and held for 24 hours.
A police statement says Fadel didnt want to upset her mother with news of her problems at school.