A day after the United Nations' chief human rights official offered a tough rebuke of Syria, government forces continued their assault on the restive city of Homs. According to the AP, the city has sustained the heaviest shelling in days.

Retail sales rose by 0.4 percent in January, the Commerce Department reported today.

While that's better than December's flat number, it's less than the 0.8 percent expected by economists. The AP adds:

"When excluding autos and gasoline station sales, retail spending jumped 0.6 percent the best showing in three months.

"Consumers spent less on cars, the report showed, even though automakers have previously reported higher sales in January. That suggests dealers offered discounts in order to boost sales.

As has happened to many of the Republican presidential candidates before him, Rick Santorum was "mic checked" at a campaign rally in Washington, yesterday.

As the Bellingham Herald reports it, Santorum was speaking at a venue right next to the Occupy Tacoma encampment and was met with chants almost as soon as he started talking.

For the second time in recent weeks, the USS Abraham Lincoln has passed through the Strait of Hormuz. If you remember the strait has been central in the diplomatic rift between Iran and the United States.

Reacting to sanctions imposed by the United States and approved by the European Union, Iran has threatened to close the narrow strait through which about 20 perent of the world's oil exports passes through.

Iranian Is Suspected In Bangkok Explosions

Feb 14, 2012

A man thought to be Iranian blew off his legs, when he tried to lob an explosive at police in Bangkok. Shortly before that happened, two other explosions were reported in the commercial district of the city.

The AP reports police found a passport that identified the man as Saeid Moradi from Iran.

A State Senator from Western New York was back at work at the State Capitol Monday, following an incident over the weekend at a Niagara Falls Indian Casino where he and his wife were involved in a fight.

Two decades of anger, apologies and agreements have failed to keep the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from ending posthumous Mormon baptisms of prominent Jews and holocaust victims.

In the latest incident, the parents of the late Simon Wiesenthal, a survivor of a Nazi death camp and an advocate for holocaust victims, were baptized in a Mormon ceremony.

Environmental advocates were in Albany Monday making the case that investing in the state's natural resources is good economic sense.

Today marks a year since an uprising started in the Gulf Nation of Bahrain. And over the course of the year, we saw lots of protests, and we saw the Gulf Cooperation Council send troops into the country to quash the rebellion. We saw the monarchy dismantle the Pearl Roundabout, which had become symbolic of the uprising and later commission a report about what went wrong at the height of the protests last February.

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