Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

WORLD [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

AFGHAN PRESIDENT REPLACING SECURITY CHIEFS

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai dismissed the national intelligence chief today, and lawmakers said he will submit nominees to replace the defense and interior ministers who were removed earlier this month by parliament.

The president is trying to shore up his shaken security team as his administration struggles to build an army and police force that can fight the Taliban as U.S. and other foreign forces begin to withdraw.

The shakeup could also set up a new showdown with the country's parliament -- which must approve the candidates -- because his reported choice for defense minister was one of the men who had been ousted by lawmakers.

Rapidly expanding the Afghan army and police is the centerpiece of the strategy to leave behind a government that can prevent the Taliban insurgents from again seizing power, more than a decade after the invasion to oust their hard-line Islamist regime for sheltering al-Qaida leaders.

TURKEY WANTS REFUGEE HAVEN IN SYRIA

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey's foreign minister said today he would press the United Nations Security Council to set up a safe haven inside Syria to protect thousands of people fleeing the violence there as his country is straining to shelter an increasing flow of refugees.

Turkey has long been floating the idea of a no-fly zone to protect displaced Syrians from attacks by President Bashar Assad's forces, but the issue has become more pressing now the number of refugees in Turkey has exceeded 80,000 -- an amount it says approaches its limits.

A refugee agency has said up to 200,000 refugees could eventually flee to Turkey.

"We expect the U.N. to step in and protect the refugees inside Syria, and if possible, to shelter them in camps there," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters before leaving for New York to attend Thursday's U.N. Security Council meeting on Syria.

ASSAD: MORE TIME NEEDED TO WIN

BEIRUT -- Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a broadcast today that his regime needs more time to win the civil war, acknowledging that his forces are struggling to contain the rebel challenge.

He also addressed the growing stream of defections from the military and the government, but tried to play down the flight by saying it was healthy. …

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