World Wrap

Obama insists U.S. won’t tackle Syria alone

Obama takes cautious line on Syria, the Afghan border makes Russia nervous, and China’s got a ten-year economic plan. Today is Friday, May 17, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


A Free Syrian Army member prays next to the grave of a fellow fighter in a cemetery in Deir el-Zor, May 16, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Obama won’t go it alone. President Barack Obama said the United States would leave military and diplomatic action against Assad on the table, adding that the U.S. would not act alone to resolve the crisis. Obama and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented a united front on Syria after a meeting in Washington:

Taking a cautious line at a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, Obama voiced hope that the United States and Russia would succeed in arranging an international peace conference on Syria, despite signs of growing obstacles. Erdogan had been expected to push Obama, at least in private, for more assertive action on Syria during a visit to Washington this week, days after car bombs tore through a Turkish border town in the deadliest spillover of violence yet.

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon saidthat an international peace conference on Syria proposed by the U.S. and Russia, which critics say may be doomed to fail, should be held as soon as possible. French President Francois Hollande criticized Russia for continuing to arm Assad, as U.S. officials said that Russia is sending the regime advanced antiship cruise missiles. A political solution in Syria is further complicated by extremist elements battling Assad. An exclusive Reuters report found that Al Qaeda in Iraq, whose goal goes beyond overthrowing the regime to anti-Western jihad, is overshadowing Syria’s rebel group Al Nusra Front. The two-year long crisis has forced a record 1.5 million refugees out of the country and killed 80,000, according to recently released U.N. figures.

Alleged organ-eating, executions raise concern over support for Syria’s rebels

Rebel extremism makes U.N. nervous, six Americans among 15 killed in Kabul, and violence takes turn for the worse in Iraq. Today is Thursday, May 16, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A Free Syrian Army fighter jumps from a pick-up truck loaded with rockets to be launched toward locations controlled by forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Deir al-Zor, May 15, 2013.  REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

Support for Syrian rebels wavers. The outcome of yesterday’s U.N. General Assembly vote on a draft resolution condemning Assad and his forces indicates growing concern over extremism in Syria’s rebel movement:

Vote on Syria meets Russian resistance

U.N. General Assembly set to vote on resolution decrying Assad,  sanctions cool off North Korean nuclear program, and apartheid tactics show dark side of Myanmar’s democratization. Today is Wednesday, May 15, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A Free Syrian Army fighter walks past graffiti on a wall along a street in Deir al-Zor on May 14, 2013. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

U.N. prepares to vote on Syria. The U.N. General Assembly will vote today on a draft resolution similar to one from  2012, which criticizes the Syrian government and supports the opposition’s Syrian National Coalition:

Russia claims capture of CIA agent

Russia expels U.S. diplomat for allegedly attempting to recruit spy, deadline approaches on Bangladesh factory safety plan, and Obama weighs in on Britain’s EU membership. Today is Tuesday, May 14, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A man named as Ryan Fogle by the Russian Federal Security Service, lies on the ground during his detention in this undated handout photo released by the Press service of the Russian Federal Security Service May 14, 2013. Press service of Russian Federal Security Service/Handout via Reuters

Cold War throwback. Russia claimed to have caught an American agent employed by the U.S. Embassy allegedly attempting to recruit a Russian intelligence officer to the CIA. Russia’s accusation comes days after Secretary of State John Kerry visited Moscow and the two countries agreed to work together toward a solution in Syria:

Turkey blames Syrian group for car bombings

Turkey accuses a group linked to Syrian intelligence of weekend blasts, Sharif claims victory in Pakistan’s historic elections, and surprise candidates challenge Iran’s supreme leader. Today is Monday, May 13, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


A man checks an apartment in a damaged building at the site of a blast in the town of Reyhanli in Hatay province, near the Turkish-Syrian border, May 13, 2013. REUTERS/Umit Bektas

Finger-pointing follows Syria spillover. Turkey called for international action against Assad after accusing a group linked to Syrian intelligence of being responsible for car bombings that killed 46 people in the Turkish border town of Reyhanli:

Cricket star support surges in Pakistan’s election

Pakistan prepares for weekend election, Bangladeshi woman pulled from rubble after 17 days, and EU-bound Croatia may miss out. Today is Friday, May 10, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


Imran Khan, Pakistani cricketer-turned-politician and chairman of political party Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), addresses his supporters after his visit to mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, founder and first governor-general of Pakistan, during an election campaign in Karachi, May 7, 2013.

Hospitalized Pakistani playboy gains in the polls. Pollsters expect the party of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif to win the most parliamentary seats in Pakistan’s general election on Saturday, but a late surge of support for former cricket star Imran Khan suggests the country could see a rocky political landscape after the votes are in:

Israel urges Russia to block air defense system sale to Syria

Israel warns of Syria-Russia air defense deal, Bangladesh back in spotlight for another deadly accident, and Taliban threaten Pakistan’s weekend elections. Today is Thursday, May 9, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

A Belarussian S-300 mobile missile launching system drives to take part in a rehearsal for the Independence Day parade in central Minsk, June 27, 2011.

Not in our backyard. As Secretary of State John Kerry made progress in Moscow on a Syria strategy, Israel asked Russia to put a stop to the sale of an advanced air shield system to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:

U.S. and Russia see common ground on Syria

Kerry and Putin bury the hatchet on Syria, Fergie announces Man U retirement, and Kurdish militants begin withdrawal from Turkey.  Today is Wednesday, May 8, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov take part in a joint news conference after their meeting in Moscow, May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Mladen Antonov/Pool

Kerry’s Moscow meeting yields results. The United States and Russia agreed to put differences aside and work together to organize international talks aimed at finding a solution for Syria’s civil war:

China denies military espionage accusations

China brushes off Pentagon’s hacking allegations, Bank of China shutters North Korean account, and Israeli strikes on Syria highlight possible Assad vulnerabilities. Today is Tuesday, May 7, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


Members of the People’s Liberation Army guard of honor stand with red flags during an official welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People, in Beijing, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Jason Lee

What cyber crime? China vehemently denied first-ever accusations by the United States that it tried to hack into American defense computer networks, calling the accusations groundless and irresponsible. An annual report by the Pentagon stated that China is using espionage to modernize its military:

Israel strikes Syria, denies supporting rebels

Israel says strikes not meant to help Syrian rebels, Malaysia’s prime minister glum over win, and pre-election violence mars rally in Pakistan. Today is Monday, May 6, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.  

Damage is seen in what appears to be a chicken farm following an air strike near Damascus, May 5, 2013, in this handout photograph distributed by Syria’s national news agency SANA. REUTERS/SANA/Handout via Reuters

Israel doesn’t want to take sides, wants Hezbollah to get Iranian missiles even less. Israel targeted Syrian missiles stored near Damascus in air strikes this weekend. An Israeli official said the strikes were not intended to bolster rebel forces, but to prevent Lebanon-based Hezbollah from getting high-tech weapons:

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