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LE MONDE, AFP (France), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), HRW (USA)

On Tuesday, eight people were killed in a mutiny at a prison in Syria's second city Aleppo, where the conflict has intensified.

The opposition Syrian National Council told AFP that security forces opened fire and used tear gas on prisoners during a peaceful sit-in to protest against inhumane conditions.

Human Rights Watch reported tens of thousands of people have been incarcerated since the beginning of the uprising in March 2011, with detainees often subjected to electric shocks and physical abuse.

A similar prison mutiny took place earlier in the week in Homs, resulting in two deaths.

Clashes between rebel fighters and regime officials continue throughout Syria.

Le Monde reports that Free Syrian Army rebels have created numerous check-points around the city and appear to have gained control for the time being.

Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi on Monday announced the regime would be prepared to use chemical weapons on foreign "aggression", but ruled out using weapons of mass destruction on Syrian citizens, Al Jazeera reported.

"Any stocks of WMD or any unconventional weapons that the Syrian Arab Republic possesses would never, would never be used against civilians or against the Syrian people during this crisis at any circumstances, no matter how the crisis would evolve, no matter how," Makdissi said.

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Coronavirus

Will China's Zero COVID Ever End?

Too much has been put in to the state-sponsored truth that minimal spread of the virus is the at-all-cost objective. But if the Chinese economy continues to suffer, Xi Jinping may have no choice but to second guess himself.

COVID testing in Guiyang, China

Cfoto/DDP via ZUMA
Deng Yuwen

The tragic bus accident in Guiyang last month — in which 27 people being sent to quarantine were killed — was one of the worst examples of collateral damage since the COVID-19 pandemic began in China nearly three years ago. While the crash can ultimately be traced back to bad government policy, the local authorities did not register it as a Zero COVID related casualty. It was, for them, a simple traffic accident.

The officials in the southern Chinese province of Guizhou, of course, had no alternative. Drawing a link between the deadly crash and the strict policy of Zero COVID, touted by President Xi Jinping, would have revealed the absurdity of the government's choices.

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