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 BEIRUT (AP) - A Syrian activist group says Israel's weekend airstrike on a sprawling military complex near the Syrian capital Damascus has killed at least 42 Syrian soldiers.

   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Monday that the toll is based on information from sources in Syrian military hospitals.

   The Syrian government has not released a death toll. Immediately after Sunday's predawn strike, Syrian state media said the attack caused casualties, but did not elaborate.

   So far, Israel has carried out three airstrikes in Syria this year, according to Israeli and U.S. officials, though Israel's government has not formally confirmed involvement.

   The officials say the attacks were meant to prevent advanced Iranian weapons from reaching Lebanon's Hezbollah militia, a Syria ally and Israel foe.

 

 JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Several Missouri school officials are challenging the summary and cost estimate of a proposed constitutional amendment that could appear before voters in 2014.

   The initiative petition would prohibit new contracts that are longer than three years for staff members who are certified to teach in Missouri. Schools also would establish an evaluation system used for employment decisions such as retention, promotion and dismissal. Supporters must gather sufficient signatures to get the proposal on the ballot.

   The lawsuit contends the summary developed by the secretary of state's office is insufficient and unfair. Among the complaints is that it does not mention school employees could be hired as "at will employees."

   Plaintiffs are the Ferguson-Florissant school board president, the business manager for Hannibal schools and a teacher from Columbia and from Smithville.

   

 

CHICAGO (AP) - Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart is proposing a county concealed-carry ordinance if lawmakers in Springfield can't come up with a statewide law.

A federal court has ruled Illinois' ban on the public possession of firearms is unconstitutional and gave the state until June 9 to come up with a concealed-carry law.

But the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Dart worries that if lawmakers don't come up with anything by then, it will be legal for anyone with a firearm owners' identification card to carry a gun anywhere, so he wants a countywide ordinance ready to go just in case.

The ordinance would give the sheriff the authority to approve and reject licenses to carry concealed firearms in the county and applicants would have to pay $300 fee for a license.

 

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