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By Stephanie Nebehay, Tom Perry and Humeyra Pamuk GENEVA/DAMASCUS/ONCUPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Hundreds of thousands of civilians could be cut off from food if Syrian government forces encircle rebel-held parts of Aleppo, the United Nations said on Tuesday, warning of a new exodus of refugees fleeing a Russian-backed assault. The army aims to secure the border with Turkey and recover control of Aleppo, a senior adviser to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Reuters, adding that she did not expect diplomacy to succeed while foreign states maintain support for insurgents. Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air strikes and Iranian and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters, have launched a major offensive in the countryside around Aleppo, which has been divided between government and rebel control for years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday unveiled a record $4.1 trillion, election-year budget that finances Democratic priorities like education, health care and climate change with new taxes on crude oil, the wealthy and big banks.
Los Angeles (AFP) - "Happy Birthday to You," often considered the most popular song in the world, looks finally set to be free for everyone to sing. In a settlement submitted to a federal court in Los Angeles on Monday, the publishing house, which is part of the Warner Music conglomerate, agreed to pay $14 million and end its efforts to collect royalties for the song. "By declaring the song to be in the public domain, the settlement will end more than 80 years of uncertainty regarding the disputed copyright," the settlement submitted by plaintiffs to the court said.