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Chatter: Syria's ceasefire deadline comes and goes

The Syrian government was supposed to have withdrawn its troops from the streets by this morning, but reports say violence continues.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
                           
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Need to know:
Today is the day that all government troops were supposed to have withdrawn from Syrian population centers.

They haven't. Activists report soldiers are still present, and firing, in Homs and other cities.

Yesterday, Syrian forces reportedly fired across the border into Turkey, prompting outrage from the Turkish government. What can Damascus be hoping to achieve at this point? GlobalPost deconstructs the government's strategy for reclaiming the country by force.

Want to know:
George Zimmerman, the man at the center of the Trayvon Martin case, has made his first public comments since shooting and killing the teenager on Feb. 26.

Zimmerman's lawyer has confirmed that his client is indeed the person behind www.therealgeorgezimmerman.com, a website that aims to collect donations for lost income and legal defense. "As a result of the incident and subsequent media coverage, I have been forced to leave my home, my school, my employer, my family and ultimately, my entire life," Zimmerman writes.

The investigation continues. The case will not go before a grand jury today, as originally scheduled, which means the special prosecutor must decide whether or not Zimmerman will face charges.

Dull but important:
Facebook
has come a step closer to its stated* aim of taking over the world, one sepia-tinted photo at a time, with the acquisition of Instagram

The good 'Book will pay $1 billion for the picture-sharing app, but has promised to keep it available to other social networks, too. But some Instagram users ain't happy (see our sample of Twitter reactions).

*It's not stated anywhere you might be able to find it. You've just got to listen out for the drums of The Empire a-beating. 

Just because:
Robert Mugabe
has had editors reaching for his obituary on plenty of occasions. Most lately it's the Australian press who've been dusting off their death notices, reporting that Zimbabwe's president is fighting for his life in a hospital in Singapore.

It's all unconfirmed rumor for the moment, of the kind that has flown so many times before. 

But in a measure of the miscommunication people have come to expect from Mugabe's propaganda machine, a fake Twitter account claiming to belong to his party, and robustly asserting the president's health, has been taken for real by a number of news outlets. Tweets included: "people r spreading rumors like feces during a cholera crisis."

Strange but true:
Worthy campaign of the day: the tiny Pacific island nation of Niue is attempting to lure Lady Gaga to its shores for a concert, by promising that all of its 1,600 inhabitants would attend.

"Of course we are not holding our breath, but it is a genuine invitation," says a spokesman for the island's tourist board. "She's terribly popular in the island, particularly with the young people."

Bless.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-syrias-ceasefire-deadline-comes-and-goes

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