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Boy, 13, among 7 killed as crackdown worsens

BEIRUT (AP) -- Syrian security forces killed seven people, including a 13-year-old boy, as thousands of protesters poured out of mosques and marched through cemeteries Tuesday at the start of Eid al-Fitr, a holiday when Muslims visit graves and pray for the dead.

The three-day holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a time of introspection and feasting that many protesters had hoped would become a turning point in the 5-month-old uprising. Instead, the government crackdown on dissent intensified.

The Local Coordination Committees, an activist network, said six protesters were killed in Daraa province in the south and one in the central city of Homs.

In Washington, the Obama administration announced new sanctions on Syria. The regulations ban Americans from doing business with President Bashar Assad's foreign minister, Walid al-Moallem; senior adviser Buthaina Shaaban; and Ali Abdul Karim Ali, Syria's ambassador to Lebanon.


More warships sent to deal with threat

JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel sent two more warships to the Red Sea border with Egypt, the military said Tuesday, following warnings that militants are planning another attack on southern Israel from Egypt.

Earlier this week, Israel's military ordered more troops to the border area, days after militants crossed into Israel through the Egyptian border and killed eight Israelis in a brazen attack that touched off fighting between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip.

Relative calm has returned, but Israel has remained on alert since the deadly Aug. 18 raid, closing roads near the border and warning citizens against traveling to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, a popular vacation site.

Israeli Home Front Minister Matan Vilnai said Tuesday that militants from the Gaza-based Islamic Jihad were in Sinai, waiting to strike.


Papers try to block hateful comments

STOCKHOLM (AP) -- Three of Sweden's biggest newspapers are changing their websites to monitor instant, anonymous comments from readers -- a move designed to crack down on Internet expressions of racism and hatred.

The tabloid Expressen said it will start monitoring all comments before, instead of after, they are published and remove those that are libelous, or contain threats or racist remarks.

The dailies Aftonbladet and Dagens Nyheter said they will close down comment fields completely until they have installed new systems that require readers to log in through Facebook or an email account before making a comment.

The decisions come after the July 22 terror attacks in Norway sparked a debate about the harsh words and racism among some anonymous commentators on the Internet.


Murdoch media group to review standards

LONDON (AP) -- Rupert Murdoch's scandal-hit News International confirmed Tuesday that it was reviewing journalistic standards across the company, a U.K. media group that includes the Times of London newspaper.

The British newspaper arm of Murdoch's global empire has been shaken by allegations of illegal behavior at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, once Britain's most popular Sunday paper.

More than a dozen former News of the World journalists and executives have been arrested over claims that they systematically intercepted mobile phone messages and illegally paid police for tips.

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