June 12, 2013
Antigay bill gains in Russia MOSCOW - A bill that stigmatizes gay people and bans giving children any information about homosexuality won overwhelming approval Tuesday in Russia's lower house of parliament. Hours before the State Duma passed the Kremlin-backed law in a 436-0 vote with one abstention, more than two dozen protesters were attacked by hundreds of antigay activists and then detained by police. The bill banning the "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" still needs to be passed by the appointed upper house and signed into law by President Vladimir V. Putin, but neither step is in doubt.
April 21, 2013 |
UNITED NATIONS - The joint U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria on Friday gave the Security Council a grim assessment of the Syrian civil war, saying that Damascus was completely uncooperative in negotiations. "With the Syrians, I got nowhere," Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters after the closed-door briefing. Diplomats said he told them virtually nothing had been accomplished in eight months. Since last year, Brahimi has been promoting a peace plan that would call for a transitional government in which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would step aside.
February 14, 2013 |
THE DEVELOPERS are competitors, two of six applicants vying for the second Philadelphia casino license. But local guy Bart Blatstein couldn't hide his admiration Tuesday for Steve Wynn, the casino magnate with a winning record that stretches from Atlantic City to Las Vegas to Macau in China. Blatstein sought an audience with Wynn after the state Gaming Control Board heard six hours of testimony - one hour each for the applicants - during which they sung their own praises. Wynn dismissed much of what he heard Tuesday as "a lot of developer-speak, a lot of pie-in-the-sky stuff.
October 10, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday extended authorization for the NATO-led force in Afghanistan for a year and welcomed the agreement to gradually transfer full responsibility for security in the country to the Afghan government by the end of 2014. A resolution adopted unanimously by the council also welcomed the government's "strong commitment" to develop a national security force under civilian leadership that can contribute to the region's security by stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan.
July 19, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The U.N. Security Council delayed a vote on a new Syria resolution until Thursday in a last-minute effort to get key Western nations and Russia to agree on measures to end the dramatically escalating violence. International envoy Kofi Annan contacted several governments Tuesday and urged the council to postpone Wednesday's scheduled vote so its deeply divided members could "unite and take concerted and strong action that would help stem the bloodshed in Syria and build momentum for a political transition," his spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said.
April 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama has ramped up U.S. aid, including communications equipment and medical supplies, to Syria's opposition in hopes of accelerating the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad, officials said Friday. The president signed off on the package last week, U.S. officials said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation. They declined to outline all forms of assistance because of the danger anti-Assad protesters have faced. At the United Nations, meanwhile, the Security Council scheduled a vote Saturday on a resolution authorizing the deployment of U.N. military observers to monitor the cease-fire.
March 13, 2012 |
UNITED NATIONS - The United States and Russia clashed over Syria at the United Nations on Monday after Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the divided Security Council to speak with one voice and help the Mideast nation "pull back from the brink of a deeper catastrophe. " Washington and Moscow both called for an end to the bloody yearlong conflict - but on different terms, leaving in doubt prospects of breaking a deadlock in the council over a new resolution. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton rejected any equivalence between the "premeditated murders" carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's "military machine" and the civilians under siege driven to self-defense.
March 7, 2012 |
BEIRUT - Syria's president defied mounting international pressure to end the year-old crackdown on an uprising against him, saying Tuesday that he was determined to go on fighting what he called "foreign-backed terrorism. " After U.S. Sen. John McCain (R., Ariz.) called for air strikes on Syria, President Obama said unilateral U.S. military action against President Bashar al-Assad's regime would be a mistake. Key U.N. Security Council members began discussing a possible new resolution, proposed by the United States, that demands an end to the violence in Syria, first by government forces and then by opposition fighters, in hopes of overcoming opposition from Russia and China.
November 9, 2011 |
UNITED NATIONS - There is no consensus among the 15 Security Council nations on the Palestinian application for U.N. membership, according to a draft report summing up members' views circulated Tuesday. The four-page report says the council is divided among those who support Palestinian membership, those who cannot support it now and would abstain, and those who think the application does not meet the criteria for membership and oppose it. A copy of the report was obtained by the Associated Press.