Top stories from DAWNS Digest. 

After Damascus Bombing, Security Council Prepares for Crucial Vote Today

After the bombing in Damascus that killed four members of President Assad’s inner circle, diplomats in New York put off a crucial Security Council vote on whether or not to extend the mission of the UN monitors in Syria. Prior to the bombing there were two competing drafts: one championed by the west which threatened sanctions; and one by Russia that made no mention of sanctions. Russia had previously said it would veto any resolution that mentioned sanctions. Diplomats are working to find an acceptable outcome that would avoid a veto. A vote is now scheduled for 10 am New York time. If no resolution is reached by Friday, the monitors would have to leave Syria.

Deadly Blast Killing Israelis in Bulgaria was a Suicide Bomber

Israel says Iran is responsible. And now, new details are emerging about the identity of the man believed now to be a suicide bomber who killed 7 people, mostly Israeli youths, in Bulgaria yesterday. “As Israeli victims of the Bulgarian bus bombing began arriving home Thursday, security officials said they now believe that the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber with a fake American passport. Israel began airlifting wounded tourists from the Black Sea city of Burgas to Tel Aviv following Wednesday’s blast, which killed seven people and injured more than 30 others. Officials believe that five of the dead are Israelis, one was the bus’ Bulgarian driver and the seventh was the bomber. Bulgarian officials released a video showing a Caucasian male with long hair, dressed in short pants, tennis shoes, a baseball cap and sunglasses. He is shown loitering around the airport with a large black backpack. His remains were found on the bus, officials said. Officials say the man was carrying what appeared to be a U.S. passport and a Michigan driver’s license, both of which are believed to be forged, according to Bulgaria’s Sofia News Agency. Officials told reporters Thursday that the man had been in the country for more than four days.” (Bloomberg http://lat.ms/Oc89K6)

UNAIDS: Global AIDS Deaths Down

Some good news! “Fewer people infected with HIV globally are dying as more of them get access to crucial antiretroviral drugs, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the United Nations AIDS program said on Wednesday. The United Nations estimates that about 34 million people are living with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS. It said in a report released ahead of the International AIDS Society’s 2012 annual meeting set for next week in Washington, D.C., that the number of worldwide AIDS-related deaths fell to 1.7 million last year — down from a peak of 2.3 million in 2005 and from some 1.8 million in 2010. That decline has been fueled by greater access to the medications that help more people live with the disease. An estimated 8 million people in low- and middle-income countries are now receiving antiretroviral drugs, and the United Nations has set a target to raise that to 15 million people by 2015.” (Reuters http://bit.ly/LsyYaO)

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