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News Wrap: Thousands of Shiites Protest Deadly Bombing Pakistan

February 18, 2013 at 12:00 AM EST
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Thousands of Shiites in Pakistan mounted a second day of protests after a bombing killed 89 people on Saturday. The protests were held in a half-dozen cities, urging the army to go after militants who’ve targeted the country’s Shiite minority. Many relatives of Saturday’s victims stayed by the bodies of their loved ones and refused to bury them. The attack in Quetta was the second mass casualty attack aimed at Shiites there in just over a month.

Al-Qaida in Iraq took responsibility today for car bombings that killed at least 37 people in Baghdad on Sunday. The three attacks occurred within minutes of each other in open air markets of the Iraqi capital. In addition to the dead, more than a hundred people were wounded. The bombings came amid rising discord between the Shiite-led government and minority Sunnis.

U.N. investigators said today the time has come for suspected war criminals in Syria to face the International Criminal Court. Carla Del Ponte, a member of a U.N. commission of inquiry, said even if there is ultimately a peace settlement, it must not give a free pass to those accused of atrocities.

CARLA DEL PONTE, U.N. Commission of Inquiry on Syria: I’m not concerned about what is done in the political side to achieve peace and to reach a negotiation peace. What I’m sure, that once international justice is dealing with this case, it is no amnesty at all.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The commission found the civil war is increasingly sectarian and radicalized on both sides. It also cited the spread of weapons as a growing concern, and urged the international community to curb the flow of arms into Syria.

Another member of the U.S. Senate has decided to step aside. Republican Mike Johanns of Nebraska announced today he will not seek a second term next year. In a statement, he said he wants to spend more time with his family, after spending 32 of his 62 years in various offices. Johanns is the fifth senator to announce plans to retire next year.

A Hall of Fame figure in pro basketball, former Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss, died today. He’d battled cancer for months. Buss ran the Lakers for nearly 34 years, and they won 10 NBA championships during that time. Along the way, he brought in star players from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Magic Johnson to Kobe Bryant. He was also one of the first owners to create his own cable TV network, and sell the naming rights to his arena. Jerry Buss was 80 years old.

Those are some of the day’s major stories — now back to Judy.