Syrian forces used tanks and artillery on the eastern city of Deir el-Zour, where an estimated 42 people died this weekend. President Bashar al-Assad has continued to target hotbeds of protests despite international criticism of the government’s harsh repression of demonstrators.
The last week is among the most violent in five months of turmoil in Syria, with a death toll of at least 300. Since protests began in March, human rights groups say at least 1,700 people have died. Because of a ban on foreign media, journalists have had little access to besieged towns.
Assad’s regime has faced repeated calls from the United States and Europe to stop the brutal crackdown. On Sunday, the Arab League issued its first call to the Syrian government, saying it found the bloodshed “alarming.”
Stocks Continue Slide Amid Debt Crisis
Leaders of the G-7 nations are struggling to address a dip in investor confidence as stocks in Europe and Asia continue their downward slide Monday. The debt crises in Spain and Italy, as well as the announcement Friday that Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ credit rating, have investors worried as markets open in the United States.
Friday’s downgrade marks the first time the United States has fallen below a AAA credit rating. S&P wrote that the debate over raising the debt ceiling and the last-minute vote to avoid default demonstrated that the U.S. financial system was “less stable, less effective and less predictable.”
The European Central Bank held an emergency session Sunday, vowing to take measures to shore up Spain and Italy.
Finance ministers from the G-7 group of industrialized nations — Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States — said they will “take all necessary measures to support financial stability and growth.”
7 Dead After Shooting Spree in Ohio
Authorities said the gunman who went on a shooting spree near Akron, Ohio, Sunday morning first killed his girlfriend before shooting five more people in a nearby home and chased two more through backyards. At least seven people died in the rampage; the condition of an eighth victim is not yet know. Police shot and killed the suspect when he shot at a police officer.
The names of the victims have not yet been released, but police said they include an 11-year-old boy.
More Than 100 Arrested in London Riots
Two days of violent protests in London, sparked by a demonstration over the death of a man shot by police, have resulted in the arrests of more than 100 people and injuries to at least 35 police. Home Secretary Theresa May praised the efforts of law enforcement to contain the violence, saying they “again put themselves in harm’s way to protect Londoners and their property.” She is holding meetings with police Monday to try to stem the violence.
Mark Duggan, 29, died Thursday after his vehicle was pulled over. A police officer also died in the incident, which was reportedly part of an investigation into gun-related crimes.