Top News: In the latest fusillade of Iran's campaign to improve relations with the West, Iranian President Hasan Rouhani made a decisive break with his predecessor, saying definitively that the Holocaust had in fact occurred while also condemnig the mass-killing of Jews during World War II.
"Any crime that happens in history against humanity, including the crime the Nazis committed towards the Jews as well as non-Jews, was reprehensible and condemnable," Rouhani said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
But shortly after those remarks were broadcast in an interview with CNN's Christian Amanpour, Iran's semi-official Fars News Agency disputed the translation of Rouhani's remarks and accused CNN of distorting Rouhani's remarks. According to the network, they used a translator supplied by the Iranian government and stood by the accuracy of his remarks as they broadcasted them in English.
Meanwhile, other quarters saw Rouhani's remarks as engaging in a subtle historical revisionism. Unlike his predecessor Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who made his Holocaust-denial a central plank of his antagonism of the West, Rouhani acknowledged the occurrence of the Holocaust and condemned the actions of the Nazis, but the Iranian leader still prefaced his remark by noting that he would leave it up to historians to determine the "dimensions of the Holocaust." That's a remark that's sure to be cited in pushing back on the Iranian leader's willinness to engage with the West. "It does not take a historian to recognize the existence of the Holocaust — it just requires being a human being,"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement last week.
Syria: Deepening the divisions among Syria's anti-government fighters, 11 key rebel groups issued a statement breaking with Syria's more moderate opposition leaders in exile. "We found it was time to announce publicly and clearly what we are after, which is Shariah law for the country and to convey a message to the opposition coalition that it has been three years and they have never done any good for the Syrian uprising and the people suffering inside," an activist close to the leadership of one such rebel group told the New York Times.
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- A militant attack on an Indian army base and a police base in Kashmir left 12 dead.
- The death toll from a powerful 7.7 magnitude earthquake in Pakistan's Baluchistan province has risen to 348.
- Italian officials overseeing the search of the righted wreck of the Costa Concordia announced that the unidentified remains of passengers have been found aboard the ship.
- A Russian court ordered that two Greenpeace activists and a photographer to be held pending an investigation to determine whether their attempt to board a Russian a oil-drilling vessel constituted an act of piracy.
- On the heels of a Greek government inquiry that showed the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has deeply infiltrated Greek security forces, the party's leader warned that he "would open the gates of hell" in response to such allegations.
- An investigation by the Guardian revealed widespread abuse of migrant workers in Qatar and conditions that the newspaper likens to modern-day slavery as the country carries out a building binge ahead of the 2022 World Cup.
- Western diplomats at the United Nations say they are nearing consensus on a resolution that would compel Syria to give up its chemical weapons.
- Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said that he would like to reach a nuclear deal with the West within the next three to six months.
- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro claimed he cancelled his trip to the opening of the U.N. General Assembly in New York out of concern that his life would be in danger there.
- Venezuelan Vice President Jorge Arreaza announced a set of measures aimed at easing the import of basic goods and easing the shortages that have plagued the country's economy in recent months.
- Secret Cold War documents reveal the NSA spied on sitting U.S. senators, along with Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King, and a Washington Post humorist.
- At the request of Kenyan authorities, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Samantha Lewthwaite, the widow of one of the July 7 suicide bombing who is better known as the "White Widow."
- A panel of judges upheld the war crimes conviction and 50-year jail sentence for former Liberian strongman Charles Taylor.
- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted on war-crimes charges, cancelled his planned visit to the opening of the U.N. General Assembly.
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