SYRIAN REBELS RETREAT IN ALEPPO
Syrian rebels retreated in eastern Aleppo in a “terrifying” collapse Monday, holding onto a small sliver of territory packed with fighters and thousands of civilians as government troops pressed on. The Syrian military said it had gained control of 99 percent of the former opposition enclave, signaling an impending end to the rebels’ four-year hold over parts of the city as the final hours of battle played out.
Pro-Kurd party members arrested in wake of Istanbul bombings B
istanbul» Turkish authorities arrested more than 200 people Monday after bombings near a stadium killed 44 people. The arrests targeted members of a Kurdish political party that was a focus of a government crackdown. Saturday’s attack, which a Kurdish group claimed as an act of revenge for state violence against the ethnic minority in the southeast, was the deadliest in Istanbul this year.
Suspect in Egypt chapel bombing had 2014 run-in with police B
cairo» The young man suspected of blowing himself up inside a Cairo chapel during Sunday Mass, killing at least 25 people, had been arrested and beaten by police two years ago after allegedly taking part in an Islamist demonstration, his lawyer said Monday. Mahmoud Shafiq Mohammed Mustafa would be the latest Egyptian to be radicalized after being subjected to police abuse.
Guterres sworn as UN secretary-general B
united nations» Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres was sworn in Monday as secretary-general of the United Nations, becoming the ninth U.N. chief in the body’s 71-year history. The former U.N. refugee chief was elected to the top job by acclamation in the General Assembly in October. He takes over from Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1.
State may require restroom signs in anti-abortion effort B
oklahoma city» Oklahoma may force hospitals, nursing homes, restaurants and public schools to post signs inside public restrooms directing pregnant women where to receive services as part of an effort to reduce the number of abortions. The State Board of Health on Tuesday will consider regulations for the signs, which were tucked into a law passed this year.
Police help man stage proposal B
mobile, ala.» Police said they helped stage a man’s arrest so he could kneel down and propose to his terrified girlfriend.
With the help of two officers, Daiwon McPherson, 33, tricked his girlfriend, Shawna Blackmon, into thinking he was on the run and had a gun. The officers converged on the couple and other members of their biker community outside a gas station Friday night. Blackmon said the scenario seemed real.
A video viewed nearly 10 million times online by Monday shows the officers rushing up to the couple with stun guns, ordering McPherson down. Blackmon, terrified, stands between them with her hands up. Then, McPherson asks her to take his “gun” from his pocket. She pulls out an engagement ring instead and is overcome with emotion as one of the officers holsters his stun gun and hugs her.