1. ESCALATION

    Syrian Violence Worse After U.N. Vote

    Syrians demonstrate against the regime after Friday prayers in the north Syrian city of Idlib on February 17, 2012. Thousands of Syrians rallied to demand Bashar al-Assad's ouster, as the embattled president's forces unleashed their heaviest pounding yet of Homs in a brutal bid to crush dissent, monitors said.
AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

    Bulent Kilic, AFP / Getty Images

    Violence has only escalated in Syria following the U.N. vote yesterday to back a plan calling for President Assad’s resignation. One opposition group told the BBC that shelling in Homs was the heaviest it’s been since troops stepped up their crack down nearly two weeks ago in attempt to break up the city’s rebel-backed Free Syrian Army. Rebels have also reported bombardment in Damascus and Deraa. Of the 137 member nations that participated in yesterday’s U.N. vote, Russia and China were among those that voted against the resolution, which called for Assad to hand over power to his deputy. The two countries had also vetoed a similar resolution two weeks ago. A senior Chinese envoy is scheduled to meet with President Assad, though the date of their meeting is not yet known.

    Read it at BBC