"We are determined that the Syrian opposition is not going to be dangling in the wind, wondering where the support is, if it is coming."—U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry as the Obama administration, in coordination with some European allies, is for the first time considering supplying direct assistance to elements of the Free Syrian Army as they seek to ramp up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.

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"I saw tourists catching fire and they were jumping from the balloon. They were trying to flee the fire but it was on their bodies."—Hassan Abdel-Rasoul, a farmer in al-Dhabaa in a statement after a hot air balloon carrying tourists over Egypt's ancient city of Luxor caught fire, killing at least 19 tourists in one of the world's deadliest ballooning accidents.

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"I continue to have serious questions about whether Chuck Hagel is up to the job of being our secretary of defense. I hope, for the sake of our own national security, he exceeds expectations."—Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., in a statement after a deeply divided Senate voted to confirm Republican Chuck Hagel to be the nation's next defense secretary, handing President Barack Obama's pick the top Pentagon job just days before billions of dollars in automatic, across-the-board budget cuts hit the military.


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