Virginia State Senator Richard Black, who is perhaps best known to Gawker readers as a guy who melted down at a teacher over fictional depictions of sex and violence, recently met and shook hands with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who is best known the world over for unrepentantly slaughtering thousands of his own people. Black said after the summit that he was “very proud to meet his excellency, the president.”
Civil defense groups in Syria have accused Bashar al-Assad of using chlorine gas in at least 35 attacks on civilians since mid-March, the Guardian reports. “Whenever the regime loses an area or a city it arbitrarily takes revenge on civilians,” said White Helmets’ leader Raed Saleh. “It is targeting civilians.”
Nick Taranto — Harvard/Dartmouth alum, former Goldman banker, Marine infantry officer, and current CEO of cooking startup Plated.com — writes in The Huffington Post today that he met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad this one time, back in 2008, on a trip with his Harvard friends. Holy fucking shit! Assad was awesome. DUDE.
According to the anti-regime human-rights group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, as many as 80 men were found killed execution-style in an Aleppo suburb on Tuesday, many with their hands bound behind their backs. The group claims to have documented the massacre's aftermath — details of which are still obscure — in a series of extremely graphic videos it posted to its Facebook page.
One of Lebanon's senior security officials, Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, was killed along with seven others this morning in a massive explosion in an affluent section of Beirut. According to the New York Times, the explosion—the origin of which is still unclear—overturned cars and shattered windows for blocks. To judge from the pictures, the death toll is likely to rise.