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AFP (France), BBC (UK), AL JAZEERA (Qatar)

Worldcrunch

A Syrian fighter-jet killed 18 people in the rebel-held town of Al-Bab on Monday.

AFP reports that the airstrike on Monday was the latest in a series of attacks on towns and villages in Aleppo province.

Victims of the attack on the building in Al-Bab included 10 men, six women and two children.

The pro-rebel Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has released a statement alleging that 5,440 people have been killed in Syria in August, with at least 26,283 deaths since the uprising began in March 2011.

As fighting escalates across Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi told the BBC that his role as the UN-Arab League special envoy was "nearly impossible."

The former Algerian diplomat was appointed special envoy to Syria after former UN General Secretary Kofi Annan stepped down from the position, similarly describing his work as "mission impossible."

Brahimi told the BBC: "I'm scared of the weight of responsibility. People are already saying: "People are dying and what are you doing?""

Brahimi will meet with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on September 8. He has refused to call for Assad to step down. He told Al-Jazeera yesterday "it is too early to speak about who should go and who should stay."

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China

How China's Mass Protest Took The World By Surprise — And Where It Will End

China is facing its biggest political protests in decades as frustration grows with its harsh Zero-COVID strategy. However, the real reasons for the protests run much deeper. Could it be the starting point for a new civic movement?

Photo of police during protests in China against covid-19 restrictions

Security measures during a protest against COVID-19 restrictions

Changren Zheng

In just one weekend, protests spread across China. A fire in an apartment block in Urumqi in China’s western Xinjiang region killed 10, with many blaming lockdown rules for the deaths. Anti-lockdown demonstrations spread to Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Chengdu and other cities. University students from more than half of China's provinces organized various protests against COVID restrictions.

Why and how did the movement spread so rapidly?

At the core, protesters are unhappy with President Xi Jinping's three-year-long Zero-COVID strategy that has meant mass testing, harsh lockdowns, and digital tracking. Yet, the general belief about the Chinese people was that they lacked the awareness and experience for mass political action. Even though discontent had been growing about the Zero-COVID strategy, no one expected these protests.

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