Minaret of Sunni mosque destroyed

The minaret of a landmark 12th-century mosque in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo has been destroyed, leaving the stone tower a pile of rubble and twisted metal.

President Bashar Assad’s regime and anti-government activists traded blame for the recent destruction to the Umayyad Mosque, which occurred in the heart Aleppo’s walled Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was the second time in just over a week that a historic Sunni mosque in Syria had been seriously damaged. Mosques served as a launching pad for anti-government protests in the early days of the country’s 2-year-old uprising, and many have been targeted.

Syrian’s state news agency SANA said rebels from the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra group blew it up, while Aleppo-based activist Mohammed al-Khatib said a Syrian army tank fired a shell that “totally destroyed” the minaret.

‘Testament of Mary’ to close on Broadway

NEW YORK — “The Testament of Mary,” which earned three Tony nominations, won’t be around next month when they’re handed out.

Producers said the one-woman show that imagines the Virgin Mary’s life after her son’s death will close today after 43 performances, a victim of poor reviews and sales.

It earned nominations Tuesday for best play, lighting and sound. Starring Fiona Shaw and directed by Deborah Warner, the show portrays Mary as a critic of Church orthodoxy. She thinks Jesus’ friends were a bad influence, doubts his divine powers and ultimately doesn’t believe his crucifixion was worth it.

Wire reports