international news briefs

Arab League ignores calls to suspend Syria over violent crackdown on protests

The Arab League plans to open dialogue between the Syrian government and opposition groups in order to find a way to end violence in the country, reported the Globe and Mail.

Going against an outcry for Syria’s suspension from the regional body over the violent crackdown on ongoing protests in the nation, the League made the decision at an emergency meeting in Cairo on Sunday.

“We will call all of the parties of the opposition and government to hold a dialogue within 15 days,” the League’s secretary Nabil Elaraby said after the meeting.

Despite international attention, the violence in Syria continues. On Oct. 16, security forces opened fire on a funeral service for an activist, and 44 people were arrested in house raids.

According to the Globe and Mail, many Gulf states are putting pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end the crackdown on protesters, which the UN says has killed more than 3,000 people since they began in mid-March.

Italy tallies damage following ‘Occupy’ protest in Rome

Around 100 people were taken to hospital with injuries and about 20 people were arrested following violent protests in Rome, reported CBC News.

Thousands showed up to protest in the capital — one of hundreds of cities across the world that have held protests inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement — but the peaceful march turned violent after rioters began throwing rocks and bottles at police.

Police used tear gas and water cannons to try and disperse rioters as they set fire to cars and smashed store fronts. More arrests are expected to be made after police review surveillance tapes.

According to the Globe and Mail, Rome’s mayor said that it could cost at least US$1.4 million to repair the damage caused by the protest.

Thousands honour Martin Luther King Jr. at memorial dedication ceremony

U.S. President Barack Obama saluted Martin Luther King Jr. as a man who “stirred our conscience” at the formal dedication of a new memorial to the civil rights leader on Sunday, reported the Winnipeg Free Press.

“I know we will overcome,” said Obama, standing next to the 30-foot granite monument to King at the National Mall in Washington.

Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and poet Nikki Giovanni were among those who took part in the more than four-hour ceremony that drew a crowd of thousands.