News in Brief

Mortar shells hit near chemical inspectors' hotel in Syria

Two mortar shells yesterday hit near the Damascus hotel where international chemical inspectors and United Nations staff are staying, Syrian state media said. An 8-year-old girl was killed and 11 people were hurt in the blasts in the upscale Abu Roumaneh area. The blasts struck some 300 meters from the Four Seasons Hotel, where the chemical inspectors and UN staff are staying. A UN employee staying there said it did not appear the hotel was affected by the explosions. Syrian rebels routinely fire mortar shells at city neighborhoods controlled by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. Last week, a similar attack reportedly killed eight people. (AP)

2-year-old son of NFL's Adrian Peterson dies after apparent assault

The 2-year-old son of National Football League Most Valuable Player Adrian Peterson died on Friday in Sioux Falls, South Dakota after an apparent assault, according to local police and media reports. Sioux Falls police spokesman Sam Clemens said the boy died after suffering head injuries on Wednesday, adding that doctors at the hospital where the child was taken said they believed the injuries were caused by child abuse. Clemens identified Joseph Patterson, 27, as the man who was arrested and charged in connection to the incident. Patterson has been described as a friend of the boy’s mother. After practice on Friday, the Minnesota Vikings running back said in videotaped remarks that he would not take questions about the incident and asked for his privacy to be respected. (Reuters)

Agency: Suspected Israeli spies stand trial in Iran

A semiofficial Iranian news agency says a group of suspected Israeli spies have gone on trial in the country’s southeast. Judge Dadkhoda Salari was quoted as saying the group was led by three people who then hired some 60 others to conspire against Iran’s ruling Islamic government. Salari was quoted as saying many of those charged confessed during interrogation. He said they acted against Iran’s security, collected information and transferred it outside the country, and assisted antireligious establishments in Israel. As is customary in such cases, he didn’t provide further details, nor said when they were tried or if they were sentenced to prison. (AP)