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Premier League strugglers Fulham have sacked manager Martin Jol, the club announced Sunday. The London side have won just three out of 13 league games under the Dutchman this season, with only Sunderland and Crystal Palace below them in the table. Fulham said former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen, who only recently arrived at Craven Cottage as a coach to work under Jol, would assume responsibility for the first team with "immediate effect". Saturday's 3-0 loss away to London rivals West Ham was Fulham's sixth consecutive defeat and chairman Shahid Khan said "supporters deserve better" than to see the club in the relegation zone.
By Nazih Siddiq TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - Four people were killed by sniper fire the north Lebanese city of Tripoli on Sunday, security sources said, raising to 10 the death toll in two days of violence fuelled by sectarian tensions over Syria's civil war. The clashes between Tripoli's Alawite minority, which supports Syria's Alawite President Bashar al-Assad, and majority Sunni Muslims who back the Syrian rebels, are the latest round of violence which has killed more than 100 people in the Mediterranean city this year. Gun battles have broken out five times since March, killing dozens of people, and twin car bombs at Sunni Muslim mosques in Tripoli killed 42 people in August. Tripoli residents said the sounds of heavy gunfire and rocket explosions echoed across Lebanon's second city from midnight to 6 am. The city was quieter during the day, they said, with soldiers patrolling otherwise empty streets of the rival neighborhoods, but occasional bursts of gunfire continued.
A two-day wave of regime air strikes on a north Syrian town has killed 50 people, a monitor said Sunday, while in Damascus a mortar round struck the French school without causing injuries. On the political front, Syria's deputy foreign minister insisted that no solution to Syria's conflict proposed at a January 22 peace conference in Geneva would be implemented without President Bashar al-Assad's approval. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that helicopters on Sunday dropped explosive-laden barrels on the rebel-held town of Al-Bab in northern Syria's Aleppo province, killing at least 24 people, including two women and four children. Meanwhile in Damascus, children escaped a mortar attack on the French school, officials said.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South Africa will charge one of Nelson Mandela's grandsons with assault and brandishing a gun at another man, a prosecutor's official said on Sunday, in a further embarrassment for the anti-apartheid hero's large and fractious family. Mandla Mandela is due to appear in court on Friday, Luxolo Tyali, a spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority, told Reuters. "The NPA has decided to prosecute him and summons have been issued," Tyali said. ...
The Obama administration declared victory on Sunday in its effort to get HealthCare.gov working smoothly for the vast majority of users, saying the site had reached a goal of handling 50,000 simultaneous users after a five-week "tech surge." In a six-page progress and performance report, administration officials said the troubled website could now handle at least 800,000 visitors per day, with the system remaining up at least 90 percent of the time. The new performance levels mark significant improvement after the Obamacare website's disastrous October 1 launch, when it crashed in the face of high traffic volumes and remained down 60 percent of the time for weeks.
By Yasmine Saleh and Tom Perry CAIRO (Reuters) - A hardline Islamist leader said the army had driven Egypt to the "edge of a precipice", as a new constitution likely to ban Islamic political parties was set to be approved on Sunday by the panel that drafted it. The 50-member constituent assembly was due to finish voting on a draft that reflects how the balance of power has shifted in Egypt since secular-minded generals deposed Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July after mass protests against him. A major milestone in Egypt's political roadmap, the constitution must be approved in a referendum before new elections which Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood, driven underground by aggressive security measures, is unlikely to contest.