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Diplomacy

'Kerry Air' grounded again, this time in Vienna

Kerry forced to fly home commercially (again) as Air Force plane breaks down in Vienna
Bradley Klapper And Matthew Lee, The Associated Press

VIENNA - The United States may be the mightiest military and economic power in the world but when it comes to shuttling its top diplomat around the globe, it's beginning to look like a poor orphan.

For the fourth time this year — and the second time in three months, Secretary of State John Kerry was forced to fly home commercially when his aging Air Force Boeing 757, known in military parlance as a C-32, was grounded on Thursday with a mechanical problem in Vienna.

Syria's Assad makes rare appearance at rally

Syria's president makes rare public appearance at rally of his supporters
Albert Aji,Elizabeth A. Kennedy, The Associated Press

DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian President Bashar Assad joined thousands of his supporters Wednesday in an extremely rare public appearance, telling a pro-regime rally in the capital that the "conspiracy" against his country will fail.

Dressed more casually than usual in a jacket but no tie, the president told the cheering crowd that he wanted to draw strength from them. Security guards surrounded him as supporters waved his portrait and raised Syrian flags.

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