Andrew's Feed
Jun 11, 2012

U.S. says fears ‘potential massacre’ in Syria’s Haffeh

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Syrian government appears to be planning a massacre in the opposition stronghold of Haffeh, the U.S. State Department said on Monday, and it warned that Syria’s army will be held to account for killings.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington shared the alarm of international mediator Kofi Annan, who described reports of mortar bombs, helicopters and tanks being used in Haffeh, near the coast, as well as government shelling of the opposition stronghold of Homs.

Jun 8, 2012

U.N. says Syria civil war “imminent,” West urges sanctions

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned the Security Council on Thursday that a full-blown civil war in Syria was “imminent,” while international mediator Kofi Annan said it was time to step up the pressure on Damascus to halt the violence.

The Syrian opposition and Western and Gulf nations seeking President Bashar al-Assad’s ouster increasingly see Annan’s six-point peace plan as doomed because of Syria’s consistent use of military force to crush an increasingly militarized opposition.

Jun 7, 2012

U.N. condemns new Syria massacre, hopes fade for Annan plan

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday to end his 15-month onslaught against an opposition seeking to oust him, condemning a reported new massacre in Syria as an “unspeakable barbarity.”

Ban and international mediator Kofi Annan both criticized Assad for failing to implement Annan’s six-point peace plan, and Ban later told the U.N. Security Council it may be time to reassess the U.N. observer mission, which has done little to stop the violence.

Jun 7, 2012

U.N. says reported new massacre in Syria barbaric, urges peace

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon ratcheted up the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday to end his 15-month onslaught against an opposition seeking to oust him, condemning a reported new massacre in Syria as an “unspeakable barbarity.”

Ban, speaking at the start of a special U.N. General Assembly session on the Syrian crisis, called again on Assad to immediately implement international mediator Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan that both Damascus and the opposition publicly embraced in April but continue to ignore.

Jun 7, 2012

U.N. says monitors in Syria shot at, condemns new reported massacre

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – U.N. monitors seeking to reach the site of a new reported massacre of Syrian villagers by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad were shot at with small arms, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.

Ban, speaking at the start of a special U.N. General Assembly session on the Syrian crisis, condemned the reported massacre at Mazraat al-Qubeir and called again on Assad to immediately implement international mediator Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan.

Jun 6, 2012

U.S. offers millions in bounty for top Somali militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is offering rewards of up to $7 million for information leading to the location of seven key leaders of Somalia’s al Shabaab, seeking for the first time to target top echelons of the al Qaeda-linked militant group.

U.S. officials said the rewards, to be announced on the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” website on Thursday, opened a new front in the battle against al Shabaab and signaled Washington’s determination to press the fight against terrorism across Africa.

Jun 6, 2012

Exclusive: U.S. offers millions in bounty for top Somali militants

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States is offering rewards of up to $7 million for information leading to the location of seven key leaders of Somalia’s al Shabaab, seeking for the first time to target top echelons of the al Qaeda-linked militant group.

U.S. officials said the rewards, to be announced on the State Department’s “Rewards for Justice” website on Thursday, opened a new front in the battle against al Shabaab and signaled Washington’s determination to press the fight against terrorism across Africa.

Jun 5, 2012

Pakistan’s “Sesame Street” hits dead end amid fraud charges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States has cancelled funding for Pakistan’s version of the children’s television series “Sesame Street,” saying on Tuesday it had received credible allegations of fraud and corruption in the production of the popular Muppet program.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which had contracted with Pakistan’s Rafi Peer Theatre Workshop to produce the local version of “Sesame Street,” had been notified of the corruption charges through an anti-fraud hotline.

May 29, 2012

U.S. expels top Syrian diplomat

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. State Department on Tuesday expelled Syria’s top diplomat in Washington following what it described as the massacre of more than 100 civilians in a Syrian town.

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Syrian Charge d’Affaires Zuheir Jabbour had been given 72 hours to leave the country, part of a wave of expulsions of Syrian diplomats from Western capitals.

May 24, 2012

Iran, big powers agree to hold more nuclear talks in June

BAGHDAD, May 25 (Reuters) – Iran and world powers agreed to
meet again in Moscow next month for more talks to try to end the
long-running dispute over Tehran’s nuclear programme, but there
was scant progress to resolve the main sticking points between
the two sides.

At the heart of the dispute is Iran’s insistence that it has
the right to enrich uranium and that economic sanctions should
be lifted before it stops activities that could lead to its
achieving the capability to make nuclear weapons.