** UN Human Rights Chief: Further Militarization of Syria Must Be Avoided**
The United Nations human rights chief says the continued arming of both sides in Syria is fueling violence and must be halted at all costs.
Navi Pillay said Monday in New York that both the Syrian government and the opposition are responsible for numerous human rights violations. She accused President Bashar al-Assad's forces of indiscriminately firing on civilians and hospitals, along with rape, torture and targeting of opposition supporters for death.
Pillay said those trying to rid Syria of the Assad government have murdered suspected informers and alleged collaborators, and are using improvised bombs that have killed civilians.
President Assad blames the violence and civilian deaths on terrorists. Pillay is asking the Syrian government to let independent investigators into the country to verify that claim.
Russia and China have been major backers of President Assad while U.N. officials say Qatar and Saudi Arabia are supplying arms to the opposition.
**Burma Frees 46 Prisoners**
Burmese state media say 46 prisoners have been freed as part of a general amnesty aimed at promoting "national unity."
The state-run New Light of Myanmar says 37 men and nine women were freed Tuesday, under an order by President Thein Sein. It also says 34 foreign prisoners were deported.
But, it does not mention whether those released were among the hundreds of political prisoners still jailed by Burma's military-backed government.
Burma has released hundreds of political prisoners since a nominally civilian government came to power last year.
In response, many Western governments have begun relaxing sanctions against Burma. But the unconditional release of all remaining political prisoners remains a key condition for many to fully restore ties with Burma.