Christians, many belonging to ancient denominations found only in Syria, form about 10 percent of the country's population. Most fear the rising power of Islamist groups within the rebel movement fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, although many are also wary of the authorities.
The avalanche struck a perilous passage called the Khumbu Icefall, which is riddled with crevasses and piled with serac - or huge chunks of ice - that can break free without warning.
BTC China, one of the country's leading digital currency exchanges, has installed China's first bitcoin ATM and launched an online app allowing individuals to buy and sell bitcoins using mobile phones, skirting local banking regulations seen as increasingly hostile to so-called crypto-currencies.
Almost 300 people were missing after a ferry capsized off South Korea on Wednesday, despite frantic rescue efforts involving coastguard vessels, fishing boats and helicopters, in what could be the country's biggest maritime disaster in over 20 years.
Aircraft and ships ploughed through dire weather on Thursday in search of objects floating in remote seas off Australia that Malaysia's government called a "credible lead" in the trans-continental hunt for a jetliner missing for nearly two weeks.
Russia's Winter Olympics got underway on Friday with a grandiose opening ceremony watched by President Vladimir Putin, who will be keen to calm fears of militant attacks and move on from a row over gay rights that has marred the buildup to the Games.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the Russian designer of the AK-47 assault rifle which has killed more people than any other firearm in the world, died on Monday aged 94, officials said.
President Barack Obama shook hands with Cuba's Raul Castro at a memorial for Nelson Mandela on Tuesday, a rare gesture between the leaders of the ideologically opposed nations that reflected the anti-apartheid hero's spirit of reconciliation.
Nelson Mandela guided South Africa from the shackles of apartheid to multi-racial democracy, as an icon of peace and reconciliation who came to embody the struggle for justice around the world.
Rescue workers struggled to reach ravaged towns and villages in the central Philippines on Monday as they tried to deliver aid to survivors of a powerful typhoon that killed an estimated 10,000 people and displaced more than 600,000.
Fleetwood Mac bass guitarist John McVie has been diagnosed with cancer and the rock group has canceled the Australian and New Zealand leg of its world tour so that he can undergo treatment.
A roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan killed 18 people, including at least five women, who were travelling to a wedding party by minibus.
A jubilant Pope Francis celebrated reaching 10 million followers on messaging site Twitter on Sunday, a milestone in the Vatican's drive to spread the gospel through social media.
Hassan Rouhani took office as Iran’s president on Saturday promising “constructive interaction with the world” after eight years under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked by diplomatic confrontation and damaging sanctions.
A corner of west London will see culinary and scientific history made on Monday when scientists cook and serve up the world’s first lab-grown beef burger.
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