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World Week Ahead: Weapons Found in Syria; Nobel Prizes Awarded

Syrian regime supporters carry pictures of President Bashar al-Assad during a protest in the Nabaa neighborhood of Beirut, Lebanon. Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP/Getty Images.

Syrian authorities captured a cache of weapons they said was smuggled in from Turkey as they reportedly rounded up opponents in the central town of Rastan. Meanwhile, the Nobel Prizes are awarded this week with the first in medicine going to a group of scientists, one of whom died just days ago.

SYRIA | Syrian authorities said they have collected more than 150 rifles, shotguns and rocket-propelled grenade launchers smuggled into the country from Turkey, Voice of America reported.

The announcement came as activists told the Associated Press that more than 3,000 regime opponents have been detained in the town of Rastan, which government forces recently retook. They are being held in a cement factory, schools and a Sports Club, the human rights groups said.

Meanwhile, Syrian opposition groups have said they are joining forces to create a unified front against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, ala the Libyan National Transitional Council.

Seven groups, including the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood — an outlawed political party — are forming the Syrian National Council, reported the BBC.

We’ll have more on the turmoil in Syria on the NewsHour.

NOBEL PRIZES | Starting the week’s worth of Nobel Prizes was one for medicine awarded Monday to three scientists — Bruce Beutler of the United States, Ralph Steinman of Canada and Jules Hoffmann of Luxembourg — for their study of the immune system.

Rockefeller University, where Steinman worked, released a statement on its website saying he had died Friday. The university said he “was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer four years ago, and his life was extended using a dendritic-cell based immunotherapy of his own design.”

Steinman is credited with discovering the infection-fighting dendritic cell. Hoffmann and Beutler are credited with discoveries related to the so-called Toll gene that helps activate the immune system.

Nobel Prizes are not given out posthumously. CBC/Radio Canada is asking its viewers if the award should be.

Other Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry and literature will be awarded throughout the week, culminating in the peace prize on Friday.

LIBYA | Fighting in Sirte, the hometown of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, is preventing the International Committee of the Red Cross from delivering supplies, MSNBC reported Monday.

Residents who have fled the fighting between rebel forces and those loyal to Gadhafi are hiding out in the desert around Sirte, also in need of aid. Others remain in the city, either too frightened or wounded to leave, or they are stranded without cars and fuel, according to the BBC.

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