For the first time in months, a United Nations Special Envoy Team carried out a field visit to war-torn Syria.  The UN representatives met with the rebel Revolutionary Military Council as well as civilian and Christian leaders at a location north of Damascus.

Israel’s Justice Ministry is confirming that it imprisoned an Australian-Israeli man known as “Prisoner X” for security reasons, and that he died in custody. The ministry claims that Prisoner X was held under a legal warrant and his rights were retained, even though he was found hanged in his jail cell in 2010. 

Bail is set at $2 Million for a young man accused of attacking Japanese tourists in Guam with his car and a knife.  Two women were stabbed to death and 11 people are recovering from various injuries.

A Southern California sheriff is denying claims that deputies deliberately set the fire that burned down a cabin in which suspected spree killer and ex-cop Chris Dorner was holed up inside.  Despite those denials, several journalists overheard police radio transmission with the orders to burn down the cabin.

Organizers hope One Billion People will take part in marches staged around the world on Valentine’s Day to raise their voices against violence on women.  The One Billion Rising campaign is especially poignant in India, where many women still feel a deep sense of outrage following the December 15th gang rape and murder of a young woman in Dehli.  That city has a full day of events planned.

Indian musician Anoushka Shankar has followed in her father’s path bringing awareness of the Sitar and Indian Music to a global audience.  But she’s sharing a secret from her childhood to support growing awareness of violence against women.

Stateless?  Or just tired of your current war-torn country?  Or maybe you just want to hide everything from the taxman?  If you have more than $100,000 in cash burning a hole in your pocket, there are some far away tropical islands beckoning.

Elderly and disabled passengers are said to be struggling aboard the “Carnival Triumph” cruise ship as the powerless liner is towed to port in Mobile, Alabama from the Caribbean Sea.  Fire knocked out its engine room, and with it the ship’s sanitation system.  Passengers say raw sewage is leaking from the walls.

The survivors of a Dutch programmer is suing Facebook for allegedly infringing on patents established long before anyone ever clicked on the mega-giant social network.  They say Facebook’s “like” and “share” functions are not original.   The family is seeking damages, plus interest, plus court costs.

A 30-year old New Zealand mother of eight is dead because of her addiction to Coke.  Not the illegal kind.  Coke, as in Coca-Cola, whose parent corporation is disputing the report from the coroner. 

American Liberals were quite upset when a right-wing Congressman invited former rock star Ted Nugent as his personal guest to view President Obama’s State of the Union Address.  But they got the last laugh as the notorious homophobe squirmed in his seat next to an equally outspoken Liberal LGBT activist.

10 Civilians are dead in a NATO airstrike that apparently missed its target of Taliban Commanders in Afghanistan’s Kunar province along the mountainous border along with Pakistan.  Women and Children are among the dea

Israel’s government hastily called a meeting of the nation’s news organizations to ask they quash a story that would be “very embarrassing to a certain government agency,’’ according to the Israeli newspaper “Haaretz”.  The story is thought to center on the suicide of “Prisoner X” in an Israeli prison cell.  Some media outlets identify Prisoner X as an Australian man from Melbourne. 

U.S. President Barack Obama is challenging Congress to back his plans to use the might of Government to kick-start the economy.  Stimulating growth and creating jobs will be the "North Star that guides our efforts", he added.  Throughout the address, Mr. Obama placed goal after goal before lawmakers of two houses that seem to be hopelessly gridlocked.  Minority Republicans are unlikely to back the President’s agenda, and accuse him of wanting to spend too much.  Mr. Obama says his proposals do not add a penny to the U.S. Federal deficit.

Conflicting reports are emerging from Southern California after a wild day that saw one police officer killed and another wounded in a gunfight with a suspect assumed to be Chris Dorner, the ex-LAPD officer suspected deadly attacks on other police officers and the daughter of a former cop.  Some reports say Dorner's body was in a mountain cabin that burned to the ground in a police stand-off.  But the Los Angeles Police came out later and said that no such identification has been made, and the ruins were still too hot to enter and search for a body.  Even if the official identification is pending, one thing is for certain:  The roadblocks are down, the manhunt appears to have stopped, and officers are no longer going door to door on California's Big Bear Mountain.

Wrestling officials around the globe are condemning the International Olympic Committee's decision to drop the sport from its list of "Core Sports" beginning with the 2020 Summer Olympic Game.  The wrestling tradition, Greco-Roman and Freestyle, goes back to the first modern Olympics in Athens in 1896.

Don't do the crime if you can't do the time.  Nor if you're not willing or able to pay the $2.25 that would have pretty much allowed you to get away without anyone knowing what was hidden in your pocket.

Authorities in Nigeria arrested three radio journalists for inciting violence by claiming that polio immunisations were an anti-Islam Western conspiracy.  Shortly after their broadcast, terrorists on motorbikes murdered 9 healthcare workers associated with the immunisation program.  The Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which condemns education and what it sees and western conspiracies, is suspected.

Two Customs Officers are among five people arrested as part of a two-year investigation into drug trafficking at Sydney Airport.  This raises the number of arrests linked to the investigation to 17.

At least 14 people have been killed and 26 others wounded following a bus-bomb explosion along the border between Turkey and Syria.  The busy crossing is used by Turkish trucks delivering goods south, and Syrian refugees going north.

Dozens are dead after rebel forces in Syria stormed and seized a key military base that was supposed to protect the international airport in the northern city of Aleppo.  The raid netted several warplanes for the rebels.