GENEVA (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov opened talks on Thursday on disarming Syria’s chemical weapons programs, but differences emerged at the outset of the expected two-day negotiations.
Kerry reiterated the U.S. position that military force might be needed against Syria if diplomacy over President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile fails.
GENEVA/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – Diplomatic efforts toward placing Syria’s chemical weapons under international control intensified on Wednesday and U.N. investigators concluded Syrian government forces were almost certainly responsible for two May massacres that killed up to 450 civilians in the bloody civil war.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke by phone one day before they meet in Geneva to try to forge a joint strategy on eliminating Syria’s chemical arsenal.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. rights investigators have established that Syrian government forces were almost certainly responsible for two massacres last May in which up to 450 civilians were killed, a report published on Wednesday said.
The report documented eight mass killings in all, attributing all but one to government forces, but said both government and rebel fighters had committed war crimes including murder, hostage-taking and shelling of civilians in their battle for territory.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. human rights investigators said on Wednesday Syrian government forces had massacred civilians, bombed hospitals and committed other war crimes in widespread attacks to recapture territory from rebels this year.
Opposition forces, including Islamist foreign fighters, have also perpetrated war crimes including executions, hostage-taking and shelling of civilian neighborhoods, the investigators said in their latest report, covering the period of May 15-July 15.
GENEVA (Reuters) – U.N. human rights investigators hope to get into Syria soon to try to find out who carried out apparent chemical attacks and other war crimes, Carla del Ponte, of the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria, said on Monday.
Del Ponte gave no time frame for a visit but said that the team was in touch with U.N. chemical weapons inspectors and awaited their findings from the scene of an August 21 poison gas attack. She said the rights team’s work would continue whether or not the United States carried out mooted punitive military strikes against the Syrian government over the attack.
GENEVA, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Life expectancy for women at 50
has improved, but the gap between poor and rich countries is
growing and could worsen without better detection and treatment
of cardiovascular disease and cancers, the World Health
Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
A WHO study, one of the first to analyse the causes of death
of older women, found that in wealthier countries deaths from
noncommunicable diseases has fallen dramatically in recent
decades, especially from cancers of the stomach, colon, breast
GENEVA (Reuters) – Any escalation of the Syrian crisis following an apparent chemical weapons attack will aggravate civilian suffering, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.
Areas plagued by heavy fighting, including the countryside around Damascus, eastern Aleppo and Deir Ezzor province, are already reeling from breakdowns of services such as water, electricity and garbage collection, it said in a statement.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The number of Syrian children forced to flee their devastated homeland reached 1 million on Friday, half of all the refugees driven abroad by a conflict that shows no sign of ending, the United Nations said.
Another two million Syrian minors are uprooted within their country where they are often attacked, recruited as fighters, and deprived of their education, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR and U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said.
GENEVA (Reuters) – The government of Iraqi Kurdistan has put in place an entry quota of 3,000 refugees a day to cope with an influx of Kurds fleeing the civil war in Syria, aid agencies said on Tuesday.
About 30,000 refugees, believed to be mainly Syrian Kurds, have poured into Iraq since Thursday, and up to 3,000 were lined up to cross on Tuesday, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said.
GENEVA, Aug 19 (Reuters) – Switzerland has banned the sale
to North Korea of equipment for a luxury ski resort planned for
the ruling elite in the widely impoverished state that is under
U.N. sanctions, officials said on Monday.
North Korean leader Kim Jung-un, who studied under an
assumed name in the Swiss capital Berne and is believed to have
gone on school ski trips in the Alps, wants to develop leisure
activities for tourists and the upper crust among its 23 million