Chatter: More crimes against humanity alleged in Syria




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Need to know:
Amnesty International
says it has fresh evidence of crimes against humanity in Syria, including the widespread torture and execution of civilians. According to the rights group, the abuses are organized, systematic and part of state policy. 

The rights groups is calling on the UN Security Council to take "concrete action" to end the violence. France is pushing fellow council members to "enforce" a peace plan, while Russia and China continue to resist pressure to agree to anything other stronger than diplomacy.

With no resolution in sight, GlobalPost continues to report from Syria on the daily realities of the crisis. Today: what happens when a government mercenary is taken prisoner by rebels.

Want to know:
John Edwards
will not face a new trial for campaign-finance corruption, prosecutors have confirmed.

The former US senator and presidential candidate was already breathing easier after a jury acquitted him on one count and couldn't reach a verdict on five others. Now, federal prosecutors have officially dropped their case against him, saying they won't seek to retry the outstanding charges. It marks the legal end, at least, to a very sordid affair

"I don't think God's through with me," says a newly hopeful Edwards. "I really believe he thinks there's still some good things I can do." Probably not in the Oval Office, though.

Dull but important:
Aung San Suu Kyi addressed the UN's International Labour Organization in Geneva today, her first appearance in Europe in more than 20 years.

The pro-democracy leader hasn't been back to the continent since 1988 – not even when her husband was dying of cancer – for fear authorities in Myanmar wouldn't let her back in afterwards. Twenty-four years and certain reforms later, she's embarking on a five-country tour that will see her pick up her Nobel Peace prize in Norway, get serenaded by Bono in Ireland, and reunite with her family in the UK.

"Each country will be different," Suu Kyi said. "I will know how backward [Myanmar] is when I reach the other countries."

Just because:
A young gay man has been brutally murdered in South Africa, in what activists say is the latest in a spate of homophobic hate crimes.

Thapelo Makutle was 24. Openly gay and transgender, he volunteered for a gay and lesbian rights group working in rural communities, and was recently the winner of a local Miss Gay pageant.

He was killed last weekend in a violent attack, the details of which are only just emerging. His body was reportedly found severely mutilated, his throat so deeply slit he was almost decapitated. 

Activists have no doubt Makutle was killed because of his sexuality. They say hate crimes are common in South Africa, even though the country's constitution outlaws discrimination.

No one has been arrested for the murder.

Strange but true:
A 15-year-old schoolgirl in Britain has possibly the world's best excuse for missing her exams: she fell asleep in April, and she's only just woken up.

Stacey Comerford suffers, she assures her teachers, from Kleine-Levin Syndrome, also known as Sleeping Beauty Syndrome. The rare disorder causes sufferers to sleep for up to 20 hours a day for weeks at a time.

"I've missed nine exams and my birthday in November," says Comerford. Doctors say sufferers – usually adolescent boys – grow out of it.