A child standing in front of his ground-flattened school after a bombardment in Ainjara village in rural Aleppo, Syria. Photo: UNICEF/Khalil Alshawi

Mass Executions Reported as Aleppo Falls

Video footage uploaded and spread on Twitter suggest a mass atrocity event is underway. “Syrian rebels retreated from former strongholds in eastern Aleppo in a “terrifying” collapse Monday, holding onto a small sliver of territory packed with fighters and thousands of civilians as government troops pressed on with their rapid advance. The Syrian military said it had gained control of 99 percent of the former opposition enclave in eastern Aleppo, signaling an impending end to the rebels’ four-year hold over parts of the city as the final hours of battle played out…Retaking Aleppo, which has been divided between rebel- and government-controlled zones since 2012, would be President Bashar Assad’s biggest victory yet in the country’s civil war. But it does not end the conflict: Significant parts of Syria are still outside government control and huge swaths of the country are a devastated waste-land. More than a quarter of a million people have been killed.” (AP http://bit.ly/2gF5RKL

Meet the New Boss...Former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres took the oath of office on Monday to be the ninth United Nations Secretary-General with his hand on a copy of the U.N. Charter in front of the 193-member General Assembly. Guterres, 67, will replace Ban Ki-moon, 72, of South Korea on Jan. 1. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gx3Q50)

The next ICC departure? Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Monday the country will have to think seriously about its membership in the International Criminal Court, signaling another African country may quit the embattled court. (Reuters https://yhoo.it/2gRVWis)

Valedictorian of the day: A Syrian refugee has graduated from an Australian high school with top honors just two years after beginning to learn English. (AP https://yhoo.it/2hqA1QM)