Assad must stop violence, UN chief says after latest deaths

SOMA CITY - UN chief Ban Ki-moon on Monday renewed his appeal to Syrian President Bashar Assad to stop the violence against civilians after reports of a new military crackdown just a day earlier.
Ban, speaking to reporters in northeast Japan, said that he had delivered a strong message to Assad in a phone conversation on Saturday ahead of his report on Syria to the Security Council due on Aug. 10.
Ban is visiting Japan's northeast nearly five months after a magnitude 9.0 earthquake unleashed a deadly tsunami that killed more than 20,000 and triggered the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl 25 years ago.