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CUMHURIYET (Turkey), HÜRRIYET (Turkey), BBC NEWS (UK)

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has finally responded to last month's shooting down of a Turkish plane after it entered Syrian airspace, saying he regretted the incident.

"We learned that it the jet belonged to Turkey after shooting it down. I say 100 percent: "if only we had not shot it down"," Assad told the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet in an interview published on Tuesday. He said that he believed the plane was flying in an area previously used by Israel's air force.

His comments emerge as fighting rages throughout Syria in what the Turkish daily Hürriyet says is increasingly taking on the character of an all-out civil war, fueled by sectarian hatred.

On Tuesday, 85 Syrian soldiers, including 14 senior officers, defected across the Turkish border -- one of the biggest defections since the beginning of the uprising in Syria in March 2011, according to BBC News.

Meanwhile, Syria is being accused of practising a widespread policy of state-sanctioned torture, as part of an effort to crush dissent, a Human Rights Watch report says. The New York-based human rights organization calls the system of torture centers in Syria a "torture archipelago," a reference to Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn's novel "The Gulag Archipelago" in which he described Siberian gulags.

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Society

Germany's Legendary Clubbing Culture Crashes Museum Space

The exhibition “Electro” in Düsseldorf is an unlikely tribute to a joyful and uninhibited club culture, with curators forced to contend with limits of a museum setting ... and another COVID lockdown.

A woman with a "Techno" tattoo in front of the famous Berghain

Boris Pofalla

DÜSSELDORF — The last party at the Berghain nightclub in Berlin lasted from Saturday evening until Monday morning. On the first weekend of December, some clubbers lined up for nine hours outside the former power plant – and still didn’t make it past the doormen. A friend said that dancing in the most famous techno club in the world on its last evening was like landing a spot in the last lifeboat to leave the sinking Titanic on 14 April 1912.

It is surely a coincidence that the first comprehensive exhibition charting the 100-year history of electronic music in Germany opened in the same week that nightclubs across the country were forced to close. It wasn’t planned that way, but it’s like opening an exhibition about the cultural history of alcohol the day after the introduction of prohibition.

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