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Chatter: US woman reported killed in Syria

At least one Westerner is reported dead on the Syrian rebels' front line, the euro zone is more jobless than ever, Mount Everest is so crowded these days, and an Olympic-sized corruption scandal in Russia.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

Syrian against Syrian — and American, and British, and Lebanese. It's not just Syrian women joining the fight against President Bashar al-Assad: today an American mother-of-one is reported killed on the rebels' front line. Nicole Mansfield, a 33-year-old from Michigan, enlisted with opposition forces some time after converting to Islam, say her family members, who were informed of her death by US authorities. A British man is reported to have been killed alongside her, though nothing has yet been officially confirmed.

If the Westerners were fighting with Syrian rebels, they may have found themselves doing battle against other foreigners. Members of Lebanon's Hezbollah are believed to be assisting the Syrian army in their thousands, dragging Syria's neighbor into the crosshairs of a spiraling regional conflict. Here's why Lebanon has a lot to lose in Syria.

There are some records you don't want to break. Like the one for highest ever unemployment in the euro zone, which has just been resoundingly smashed. In April another 95,000 people were out of work in the 17 countries that use the single currency, bringing the total to a hefty 19.38 million.

The latest rise means the euro zone's joblessness figures have climbed higher every single month of the past two years. Brother, can you spare a centime?

WANT TO KNOW

Sorry, sort of. Two former leaders of Cambodia's Khmer Rouge have come their closest yet to an apology for the atrocities committed during the communist regime's deadly rule. Speaking at their trial for crimes against humanity in Phnom Penh, ideologist Nuon Chea and head of state Khieu Samphan told families of the group's victims that they were sorry for their losses and accepted that they were at least partially responsible for them.

The admission was hailed as a victory for the victims, many of whom have been waiting decades for any sign of remorse. But with most Khmer Rouge leaders either dead or too senile to prosecute, and the tribunal trying them starved of cash, it may be the last one they get.

It's not easy being the world's tallest mountain. This week marks Mount Everest's "Diamond Jubilee," the 60th anniversary of when Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay first set foot on the world's highest peak in 1953. Since then, the lure of the summit has drawn hundreds of thousands of would-be climbers — more and more of them inexperienced. 

Elite mountaineers bristle at the crowds, and some blame cut-rate, Nepalese-run expeditions for upping the risks of death. GlobalPost finds out why some trekkers be hatin' on Sherpas

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Oh, those Russians. Members of the opposition claim that billions of dollars — many, many billions — have been embezzled from Russia's Sochi Winter Olympics funds. After analyzing six months of Olympic spending data, the Kremlin's critics say that the huge balloon in cost — from 2007's $12 billion estimate to the current $51 billion — is a result of "a monstrous scam."

No biggie, according to the International Olympic Committee's pointman Jean-Claude Killy, who says, unreassuringly, that he doesn't recall a single Olympics without corruption. "It's not an excuse, obviously, and I'm very sorry about it, but there might be corruption in this country, there was corruption before," he says. "I hope we find ways around that." We'd suggest, um, not being corrupt.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-us-woman-reported-killed-syria