World Wrap

Obama asks Congress to delay Syria vote, pledges to consider diplomatic options

President Obama appeals to Congress to delay vote on military action in Syria, adopted children who survived the online child exchange speak out, and a car bomb explodes in Benghazi. On this Wednesday, we mark the 12th anniversary of the September 11 attack on the U.S. This is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner

U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the nation about the situation in Syria from the East Room at the White House in Washington, September 10, 2013. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/POOL

Buying time. President Barack Obama vowed to explore diplomatic options in Syria in a televised address on Tuesday night, while still pushing for support for a possible military strike. Now considering a Russian plan for oversight of Syria’s chemical weapons, Obama asked leaders in Congress to put off a vote on whether to authorize use of military force against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad:

[Obama] said U.S. Navy ships in the eastern Mediterranean and other forces in the region are in place and ready to respond should diplomacy fail. The Russian initiative gave Obama some breathing space since it has been far from certain whether he would win a vote in Congress on attacking Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack last month that Washington has blamed on Assad’s forces. In a speech of only 16 minutes, Obama gave perhaps the most coherent expression of his Syria policy to date following weeks of muddled messages by his administration as opposition to a U.S. military strike mounted. “If we fail to act, the Assad regime will see no reason to stop using chemical weapons,” said Obama. “As the ban against these weapons erodes, other tyrants will have no reason to think twice about acquiring poison gas and using them.”

France drafted an initial U.N. Security Council resolution that would give Syria 15 days to declare its chemical weapons program and make all related sites accessible to U.N. inspectors, or face punishment. Russia’s proposal shifted U.S. foreign policy away from considering imminent military intervention and made unlikely partners of Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tension between the two leaders has been high this year, but now Obama needs his Russian counterpart to wield influence in Syria. On Tuesday, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem said that Syria is ready to “provid[e] all information about these [chemical] weapons,” in the closest intimation from a high-level official that Syria has chemical weapon stores. The U.N. said on Wednesday that war crimes have been perpetrated by both sides in battles over territory.

World leaders discuss Russian plan to avoid military strike in Syria

Russia’s plan for international oversight of Syria’s weapons moves forward, a Reuters report looks at the middlemen in the online exchange of adopted children, and four Indian men are found guilty of murder in gang-rape case. Today is Tuesday, September 10, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner.

Free Syrian Army fighters take positions as they aim their weapons during what the FSA said were clashes with forces loyal to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad in Idlib, September 9, 2013. REUTERS//Muhammad Qadour

Russia throws a wrench in Obama’s Syria plan. Syria accepted a Russian plan for the war-torn country to place its chemical arms under international control, offering an unexpected alternative to military action that President Barack Obama called a possible breakthrough, although he plans to proceed with a vote in Congress to authorize force:

Inside the black market for adopted children

A Reuters report details the dangerous world of trading adopted children, Obama faces uphill battle on Syria strike, and Tokyo’s Olympics triumph sheds light on Fukushima fallout. Today is Monday, September 9, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Adopted child Quita Puchalla, 21, poses outside her apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, May 7, 2013. REUTERS/Jeffrey Phel

Traded online. When Liberan-born Quita’s adoptive parents decided they could no longer care for her, they took to a Yahoo chat room to find new guardians. After two days, a couple responded that they would take Quita, providing little more than a fabricated document as evidence that they were qualified to care for the teenager. Quita’s life in the United States quickly became a nightmare:

Checking Kerry’s “good guys” in Syria

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Just who is the U.S. backing?

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presents the administration’s case for U.S. military action against Syria to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

Fact check. In testimony before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Secretary of State John Kerry said moderate opposition groups in Syria are gaining influence. Are the rebels, as Kerry suggested, increasingly defined by moderation?

Obama secures Congressional leadership support for Syria strike

Key lawmakers back Obama’s call for action in Syria, troubled cities vie to host 2020 Olympics, and dissident’s mayor race rattles Moscow. Today is Wednesday, September 4, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Martin E. Dempsey (L), John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State (C), and Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, present the administration’s case for U.S. military action against Syria to a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing in Washington, September 3, 2013. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

No boots on the ground. Republican and Democratic leaders lent support to President Obama’s call for a limited military strike on Syria Tuesday, agreeing on a draft resolution that rules out the deployment of American troops and sets a 60-day limit on military action in Syria, with a possibility of one 30-day extension:

Obama lobbies lawmakers for Syria strike

Obama tries to convince Congress to strike Syria, Japan makes conveniently-timed pledge, and Chinese land grabs turn ugly. Today is Tuesday, September 3, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

U.S. President Barack Obama meets with bipartisan Congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington to discuss a military response to Syria, September 3, 2013. From L-R are: National Security Adviser Susan Rice, Speaker of the House John Boehner, Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell. Vice President Joseph Biden is in the foreground. REUTERS/Larry Downing

Reputation roulette. After announcing on Saturday that he will seek congressional approval to strike Syria, President Obama is trying to convince lawmakers to agree to military action. A failed vote may further damage the United States’ credibility in the Middle East:

UK parliament votes down war motion for first time since American independence

British prime minister Cameron suffers major embarrassment over Syria vote, Rwanda accuses Congo of shelling, and angry farmers converge on Colombia’s capital. Today is Friday, August 30, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Parliament in London, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

Cameron’s Syria shame. UK Prime Minister David Cameron suffered a humiliating defeat when the British Parliament voted down a motion to take military action against Syria, the first time a British Prime Minister lost a vote on war in centuries:

Lessons of Iraq stall Syria strike

Britain backpedals on Syria strike, 4-year-old’s death outrages China, and Merkel’s opponent inspired by Romney. Today is Thursday, August 29, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

Demonstrators hold placards outside the Houses of Parliament in London, August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Suzanne Plunkett

When, how, and at what cost? After President Barack Obama on Wednesday made his case for striking Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who would oversee the intervention, voiced his own stance:

Britain asks U.N. approval for military action in Syria

Britain seeks U.N. authorization for Syria strike, North Korea acts like a better neighbor, and deadly violence sweeps Iraq and Afghanistan. Today is Wednesday, August 28 – 50 years since Martin Luther King made his famous “I have a dream” speech – and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @clarerrrr.

Ban Ki-moon begs West: Give these guys time.

Free Syrian Army fighters escort a convoy of U.N. vehicles carrying a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts during their visit at one of the sites of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Damascus’ suburbs of Zamalka, August 28, 2013. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

Security Council showdown. Britain plans to propose a resolution at the U.N. asking permission to take “necessary measures” to protect Syrian civilians after a reported chemical attack. After two years of deadlock in the Security Council thanks to Russia and China’s veto powers, the move seemed aimed at isolating Russia. The U.S. appears ready to strike Syria with or without U.N. approval, although it remains unclear when a strike would take place.

Western powers could strike Syria within days

Leaders strategize on Syria attack, Afghan Taliban kill 12 suspected of government ties, and U.S. Attorney General pressed to explain how DEA uses hidden data. Today is Tuesday, August 27, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.

U.N. chemical weapons experts visit people affected by an apparent gas attack at a hospital in the southwestern Damascus suburb of Mouadamiya, August 26, 2013. REUTERS/Abo Alnour Alhaji

Syria strike looms. Western leaders are poised to take military action in Syria after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called last week’s chemical weapons attack “undeniable.” Action against Syria likely would be quick and intended to punish Assad rather than change the direction of the war:

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