Bakeries. Bread lines. Hospitals. These are the targets against which the Syrian government is said to have been conducting "indiscriminate and in some cases deliberate" air strikes—killing more than 4,300 civilians since July of last year, according to a new report by the New York-based human rights group Human Rights Watch. "In village after village, we found a civilian population terrified by their country's own air force," Ole Solvang, an HRW researcher said. The 80-page report, written by human-rights workers who visited dozens of sites of attacks in Aleppo, Idlib and Latakia, found strong indications that the government was deliberately and repeatedly targeting hospitals, and using ballistic missiles and cluster bombs that "should, at a minimum, be banned in populated areas." Syrian rebels were not exempt from criticism—they "did not take all feasible measures to avoid deploying forces and structures such as headquarters in or near densely populated areas"—but "an attacking party is not relieved from the obligation to take into account the risk to civilians." The toll on civilian life in Syria after two years of civil war has been immense. "I buried 12 of my family members... including my father, my mother, and my sister; my brother's wife as well," a man named Ahmed told HRW. "Walid, my brother, was cut into pieces. We didn't recognise him at first. We buried my brothers' children also. The youngest was 40 days old." [NYT | AJE | CNN]
The Palins are in India, right now! Sarah Palin will be giving the keynote address at the India Today Conclave, a fancy conference whose past keynoters include Al Gore, Benazir Bhutto, and Pervez Musharraf. You can enjoy the unusually intense promo clip up top. Until the Conclave, though, she and Todd have some time to kill, and they're already furious at the Indian media for covering them.
Seriously, what will happen if our number-one obsession, the world's most important literary magazine n+1, writes a piece about this here bilious website? Will time and ass-space collide? Anyway, we hear the piece is done for the new issue, but this is first we heard about it, because essayists don't report, ya know! (Who's a journalist now, bitches?)