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Syria Braces for 'Martyrs Week'

Syria was on Tuesday braced for the start of "Martyrs Week", a series of rallies organized by a Facebook group in honor of those killed in security clampdowns on pro-reform demonstrations.

"The Week of the Martyrs will be a thorn in the regime's side," the organizers of Facebook group Syrian Revolution 2011 said, designating Tuesday as the first day of protests focused on coastal towns "far from the capital".

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Yemen Police Shoot Dead Two Protesters

Security forces shot dead two protesters in the western city of Hudaydah during demonstrations that broke out overnight after bloody protests elsewhere in Yemen left 17 dead, witnesses said Tuesday.

Thousands of protesters took to the street in the Red Sea city denouncing the killing of 17 anti-regime protesters Monday in the city of Taez, 200 kilometers south of the capital Sanaa.

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Libya Says Open to Reforms, But Gadhafi Must Stay

The Libyan government said Tuesday it was ready to negotiate reforms, but refused any talk of Moammar Gadhafi stepping down saying he was a unifying figure after ruling the nation for four decades.

"What kind of political system is implemented in the country? This is negotiable, we can talk about it," government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told journalists. "We can have anything, elections, and referendums."

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U.S. Warns Citizens to Avoid Lebanon: Government Incapable of Providing Protection

U.S. citizens should avoid traveling to Lebanon, the State Department said Monday in a travel warning two days after a U.S. embassy group was attacked by Lebanese youth.

"The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens to avoid all travel to Lebanon due to current safety and security concerns," the warning said.

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Pro-Regime Syria Daily Says Emergency Law Alternative Ready by Friday amid News of Mass Arrests

The commission charged with replacing Syria's emergency law with new legislation will conclude its work by Friday, a newspaper close to the government reported.

"Sources within the commission tasked with studying the removal of the emergency law said it will, by Friday, finish formulating the necessary legislation to replace the emergency law," the Al-Watan newspaper said Monday.

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Eight Inmates Die in Syrian Prison Blaze

Eight prisoners died and 17 were injured in a jail blaze Monday in the flashpoint Syrian town of Latakia started when an inmate torched his mattress, police cited by the state SANA news agency said.

"Twenty-five prisoners were hospitalized, eight of whom died of asphyxiation and serious burn injuries," said Latakia police chief General Kamal Fteih.

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'Cow Valve' Heart Implant Hailed as Breakthrough

Sunday as a major breakthrough that could eliminate the need for open heart surgery in some patients, U.S. doctors said Sunday.

The method is aimed at high-risk patients who suffer from severe aortic stenosis, a clogged valve that impedes the pathway of oxygen-rich blood by making the heart work harder to pump blood through a narrowing opening.

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Australian 'Cannibal' Jailed For Life

A self-proclaimed cannibal who slit his housemate's throat, partially severed his genitals and then drank his blood was found guilty of murder in Australia on Monday and jailed for life.

A Supreme Court jury convicted Robert Ian Logan, 23, of killing Ben Huntingford, 22, in their Queensland home in June 2006 and stabbing his pet dog, Butch, in a bloody attack likened by witnesses to an abattoir slaughter.

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'Bionic Eye' Implant Offers Hope To The Blind

For a man whose view of the world has slowly faded to black over 30 years, a device that allows him to see flashes of light has enkindled his hope of one day gazing upon his grandson's face.

A career electrician who grew up in Greece and came to the United States as a young man, Elias Konstantopoulos first noticed his vision getting poorer when at age 43 he absentmindedly tried on a relative's eyeglasses and found he could see more clearly with them than without.

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15 Protesters Shot Dead in Yemen

Yemeni security forces shot dead 15 anti-regime demonstrators and wounded scores more on Monday, on the second day of lethal clashes in Taez, south of the capital, medics said.

"The death toll has gone up to 15," said Sadeq al-Shujaa, head of a makeshift field hospital at a square in central Taez, updating an earlier casualty toll.

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