Last updated: February 19. 2013 7:25PM - 228 Views

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HARRISBURG
Abuse law changes sought

Pennsylvania should enact sweeping changes to state child abuse laws, a legislative commission concluded Tuesday after a year of study prompted by Jerry Sandusky's arrest on child molestation charges.


The Pennsylvania Task Force on Child Protection's recommendations include rewriting state law, redefining what constitutes child abuse and expanding the list of people who are required to report suspected abuse.


The task force's highlights of its recommendations include greatly expanding the definition of perpetrator in one law, and harsher penalties when people who are required to report abuse fail to do so.


IDLIB, Syria
Factory bombing kills 20

Syrian warplanes bombed an olive oil factory packed with farmers Tuesday, killing at least 20 people in the latest regime strike to rip through a crowd of civilians, activists said.


The bombing comes as the civil war takes a devastating toll on an already beleaguered population. Human Rights Watch said it found compelling evidence that the regime used cluster bombs in an airstrike that killed at least 11 children earlier this week.


It was not immediately clear whether the olive press was the intended target, or if the plane misfired. The government generally does not comment on rebel claims and there was no official reaction to the latest allegations.


But two anti-regime activist groups — the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees — said the factory was hit Tuesday near the northern city of Idlib.


NEW YORK
3rd claim vs. ex-Elmo actor

A Florida man has sued the ex-Elmo puppeteer who resigned amid a sex scandal, saying the voice actor met him in New York after trolling gay telephone chat lines seeking underage boys for sex.


The lawsuit seeking unspecified damages was filed in Manhattan federal court Tuesday by a man who remains anonymous.


The man says he met Kevin Clash on a chat line when he was 16 years old in 2000 and exploring modeling opportunities in New York.


The man, now 29, is the third to make claims against Clash, who resigned from Sesame Street last week after 28 years.


BEIJING
Onion joke hailed in China

The online version of China's Communist Party newspaper has hailed a report by The Onion naming North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un as the Sexiest Man Alive — not realizing it is satire.


The People's Daily on Tuesday ran a 55-page photo spread on its website in a tribute to the round-faced leader, under the headline North Korea's top leader named The Onion's Sexiest Man Alive for 2012.


Quoting The Onion's spoof report, the Chinese newspaper wrote, With his devastatingly handsome, round face, his boyish charm, and his strong, sturdy frame, this Pyongyang-bred heartthrob is every woman's dream come true.

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