Syrian rebels’ fight
with al-Qaida grows
Syrian rebels surrounded a compound held by al-Qaida-linked fighters and freed at least 50 people from a nearby prison Monday as clashes between rival factions in the country’s northern provinces spread to the largest city controlled by the opposition.
The rebel-on-rebel fighting in Raqqa — a stronghold of the al-Qaida-linked group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant — reflects a widening war within a war in Syria, this one against radical extremists.
The number of towns, villages and neighborhoods where clashes were taking place spread across four provinces, providing an indication of the extent of resentment of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
Liz Cheney quits
GOP Senate race
Liz Cheney’s sudden exit from her Wyoming Senate race brought a surprise end to a high-profile campaign that touched off a bitter fight within the Republican Party as well as a public spat with her lesbian sister over gay marriage.
The daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney cited unspecified “serious health issues” in her family rather than her uphill race to unseat three-term GOP Sen. Mike Enzi in her announcement on Monday.
“My children and their futures were the motivation for our campaign and they will always be my overriding priority,” she said in a statement. One of Cheney’s daughters has Type 1 diabetes.
Cheney, who moved with her husband and five children from Virginia to Wyoming to run for the seat, offered voters a familiar name — her father served as the state’s congressman for 10 years — but faced solid opposition from mainstream Republicans who rallied around Enzi as he fought off her challenge from within the GOP.
PYONGYANG, North Korea
will be ‘present’
Dennis Rodman said Monday that a game he and other former National Basketball Association players are planning in North Korea will be a “birthday present” for one of their most unlikely fans: leader Kim Jong Un.
Rodman’s squad — featuring ex-All Stars Kenny Anderson, Cliff Robinson and Vin Baker — will play against a team of North Koreans on Wednesday, which is believed to be Kim’s birthday.
Rodman told The Associated Press he was glad to be in North Korea for the game, though he said he has gotten death threats for his repeated visits. He said proceeds from the game would go to a charity for the deaf in North Korea.
‘Jihad Jane’ gets
10 years in jail
A troubled Pennsylvania woman who called herself “Jihad Jane” online and plotted to kill a Swedish artist was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison after telling a judge she had been consumed by thoughts of a Muslim holy war.
Colleen LaRose, 50, faced a potential life term. But Chief U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker gave her credit for her guilty plea and her help in the indictment of two others.
Prosecutors asked for decades in prison, fearing she remains highly vulnerable to manipulation. But LaRose told the judge, “I don’t want to be into jihad no more.”
LaRose became obsessed with the cause after meeting a Muslim man on vacation in Amsterdam, when she was out one night after a fight with her boyfriend, her lawyer said. She pursued it online when she returned to her home in rural Pennsburg, Pa., where she cared for the boyfriend’s elderly father at home nearly full time.