Syrian rebel-held towns back in regime's hands
BEIRUT • At least eight battered rebel-held towns in southern Syria returned yesterday to regime control under Russian-brokered deals after nearly two weeks of bombardment, a Britain-based monitor said.
Since June 19, the Damascus regime has pressed a deadly bombardment campaign in southern Syria to retake the strategic area bordering Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
The agreements for the eight towns in the southern province of Daraa were reached even as regime air strikes pounded other opposition holdouts nearby, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said. Some 160,000 people have been driven from their homes.
Cambodian PM's son promoted to senior posts
PHNOM PENH • The son of Cambodia's long-serving Prime Minister Hun Sen was promoted to two senior military posts yesterday as his father looks to widen the family's influence ahead of the July 29 general election.
West Point-trained Lieutenant-General Hun Manet, 40, was promoted to acting chief of joint staff and commander of the army headquarters, according to Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat.
Mumbai's Art Deco buildings recognised
MANAMA • Mumbai's Art Deco buildings - believed to be the world's second largest collection after Miami - were added yesterday to Unesco's World Heritage List alongside the city's better-known Victorian Gothic architecture.
The decision was approved at a Unesco meeting in the Bahraini capital Manama. It is estimated there may be more than 200 Art Deco buildings across Mumbai, most of them built between the early 1930s and early 1950s.