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Syria's Bashar al-Assad has called for elections, even as his troops make war on their own people. We hear the stories of refugees, get reports on anti-government forces and update international calls for humanitarian intervention. Also, Iran touts nuclear advances and threatens to cut European oil exports. On Reporter's Notebook, is Jeremy Lin the next Bruce Lee, a role model for Chinese-American?

Banner image: Syrian army soldiers stand at a checkpoint in the city of Harasta, 9 km north of Damascus on February 15, 2012. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP/Getty Images

Making News Iran Touts Nuclear Advances, Threatens to Cut European Oil Exports 7 MIN, 26 SEC

Iran today announced some advances in its nuclear program, in defiance of international pressure. But it also responded for the first time in five months to demands that it return to talks with the Western powers. James Blitz is defense and diplomatic editor for the Financial Times.

James Blitz, Financial Times

Main Topic Syria's Civil War 36 MIN, 28 SEC

Syria's civilian death toll is now estimated at 6000 people, as tanks and machine guns continue to bombard residential neighborhoods the Assad government calls "havens for terrorists" inspired by foreign enemies. Army defectors and others are fighting back as best they can. Some 25,000 civilians have managed to flee to destinations including Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. Refugees say they're bribing soldiers to help them get out of cities where food, water and medical care are in short supply. Meantime, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad has announced a referendum in ten days to amend the constitution, limit his term in office and set up elections. France wants the UN to protect "corridors" for humanitarian relief, but Russia says that might "legitimize regime change."

Erika Solomon, Financial Times (@ErikaSolomon)
Rania Abouzeid, freelance journalist (@RaniaAb)
Robert Danin, Council on Foreign Relations (@robertdanin)
Shadi Hamid, Brookings Institution (@shadihamid)
Bassam Haddad, George Mason University (@4Bassam)

Reporter's Notebook The New York Knicks' Jeremy Lin and 'Linsanity' 6 MIN, 31 SEC

Jeremy Lin was dumped by the Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors, and the New York Knicks sent him down to the D League. The Harvard graduate was barely warming the bench in the NBA until the Knicks' coach had nobody else to bring against their cross-town rivals, the New Jersey Nets. The result was 25 points and seven assists. In the next five games, he's been a starter who's giving new life to a depleted franchise and providing a role model nationwide. Rick Quan is a sportscaster for KGO-TV in San Francisco, with a website called AsianAmericanSports.com.

Rick Quan, KGO-TV

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