Tribute to a Legend – Intense shelling Wednesday claimed the lives of American journalist Marie Colvin and French photojournalist Remi Ochlik. Colvin, 56, a long-time correspondent for the Sunday Times of London, was the only reporter in Homs from a British newspaper. Several other people were reportedly injured when the shell hit a makeshift media center in the Baba Amr area, the New York Times reports. In an interview with the BBC Tuesday, Calvin described the “absolutely sickening” violence and “unrelenting” shelling. TIME’s Vivienne Walt remembers the celebrated war reporter.
City of Death—And Le Monde (via the Guardian) paints a grisly picture of the besieged Syrian city of Homs, the epicenter of the violent conflict between President Bashar al-Assad and opposition forces: the regime’s rooftop snipers are targeting anyone and anything that stirs in the streets; makeshift emergency care centers staffed with medically illiterate volunteers are overwhelmed; and families are being murdered in their homes by night. But with growing signs of imminent action by the international community, the Economist debates whether a military intervention in Syria will do more harm than good.
Border Brides—The Atlantic tells the story of a growing group of women from the Central Asian country of Uzbekistan who marry ethnic Uzbek men in southern Kyrgyzstan and end up as citizens of neither country. Stateless and stranded, they cannot return to Uzbekistan to visit family and friends and lack proper documentation to be employed in their new country.
Prisoner Politics—Palestinian prisoner Khader Adnan ended his 66-day hunger strike on Tuesday after Israeli authorities agreed to release him in April if no major new evidence is brought against him. In making the deal, Israel averted the possibility of widespread unrest that many expected if the detainee had died, the New York Times writes. The case has drawn attention to the continuing use of administrative detention in the West Bank by Israeli forces, writes TIME’s Tony Karon, and to the chaotic state of Palestinian politics.
Book Burning—Thousands of angry Afghans, including those who work inside NATO’s military base in Bagram, took to the streets for a second day in violent protests over the burning of copies of the Koran by U.S. military personnel, the Washington Post reports. At least three protesters were killed when police fired into the crowd Wednesday, the AP reports. The U.S. apologized for the mishap they called unintentional, but foreign officials and Afghans expressed shock that members of the foreign forces in Afghanistan did not know how offensive desecrating the Koran could be, and didn’t see the potential for violence in a country where news of the burning of a single Koran last April — by a preacher in Florida — provoked mobs to attack a U.N. office and kill 12 people, the New York Times reports.
No Way Forward – Officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency were denied access to an Iranian military base ending hopes of defusing tensions over an alleged nuclear-weapons program, Bloomberg reports. The threat of military conflict increased as state-run news agency Fars quoted Mohammad Hejazi, deputy head of the Iranian armed forces as saying, “we will no more wait to see enemy action against us.”