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News In Brief

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42 killed in Israeli strikes in Syria this week
AP, Beirut
A Syrian war monitor says a wave of Israeli strikes on suspected military positions in Syria this week killed 42 people.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday the new death toll from attacks early Thursday was 27, including at least 11 Iranians and six Syrian soldiers. In strikes near the capital on Wednesday, the Observatory said at least 15 were killed, including eight Iranians. That brings to 42, including 19 Iranians, the total killed during the two days of strikes.

UN's top nuclear inspector resigns
AP, Berlin
The U.N.'s nuclear watchdog says its top inspector has quit with immediate effect, just as the agency's work in Iran is once again in focus.
The International Atomic Energy Agency didn't give a reason for the sudden resignation of Tero Varjoranta, stating Saturday that it doesn't comment on confidential personnel matters.

Iran cleric threatens destruction of Israeli cities
AP, Tehran
A prominent Iranian cleric on Friday threatened two Israeli cities with destruction if the Jewish state "acts foolishly" and attacks its interests again, while thousands of protesters demonstrated against President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal with world powers.
The comments by Ayatollah Ahmad Khatami followed a week of escalating tensions that threaten to spill over into a wider conflict between the two bitter enemies, who have long fought each other through proxies in Syria and Lebanon.

NASA plans to send mini-copter to Mars
AFP, Tampa
The US space agency said Friday it plans to launch the first-ever helicopter to Mars in 2020, a miniature, unmanned drone-like chopper that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet.
Known simply as "The Mars Helicopter," the device weighs less than four pounds (1.8 kilograms), and its main body section, or fuselage, is about the size of a softball.

California boy shoots high school student
Reuters, Palmdale
A 14-year-old boy shot and wounded a student at a Southern California high school on Friday before fleeing the scene and being arrested at a supermarket by an off-duty police officer, law enforcement officials said.
The victim, a 15-year-old student at Highland High School in Palmdale, about 60 miles (96 km) north of Los Angeles, was listed in stable condition at a nearby hospital with a gunshot wound to the arm and shoulder area, Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell told a news conference.

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