Clinton to meet Syrian activists as violence spikes

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet expatriate Syrian political activists on Tuesday as Washington struggles to craft an effective response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's bloody crackdown.
US officials said the meeting would be Clinton's first with a group of Syrian activists since peaceful anti-government protests began in March. They declined to give any further details, citing the sensitivity of the situation.
"Today, as the campaign of violence continues, President Assad is further ensuring that he and his regime will be left in the past, and that the Syrian people themselves will be the ones to determine its future," Clinton said in a statement.
"President Assad has lost his legitimacy with the Syrian people. Syria will be a better place when a democratic transition goes forward."