Saturday, August 31, 2013

World News Briefs -- August 31, 2013

UN Weapons Inspectors Leave Syrian Capital -- Al Jazeera

Teams finish gathering evidence of alleged gas attack near Damascus, though UN says sample analysis may take weeks.

UN chemical weapons inspectors, in Syria to probe an alleged poison gas attack that killed hundreds, have left Damascus for Beirut, having completed four days of site visits and evidence-gathering, witnesses and officials say.

The experts departed their hotel in the Syrian capital on Saturday morning, after having carried out a final day of inspections on Friday. The inspectors are seeking to determine what exactly happened in an alleged chemical weapons strike that killed hundreds in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.

The 13 inspectors, led by Ake Sellstrom, were seen loading their luggage into seven UN vehicles before setting off from their hotel, an AFP correspondent said.

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International weapons experts leave Syria, U.S. prepares attack.

In Damascus, army and civilians scramble for safe havens.

Syrian hackers threaten retaliation for any U.S. strike.

Iraqi militia vows to attack U.S. interests if Syria hit.

Iran threatens payback on Syria; Russia sends warship.

Lebanon tense as Syria strikes loom.

Israel deploys Iron Dome defense system ahead of possible U.S. strike on Syria.

Iraq protesters rally against MP benefits.

Iraq court scraps law barring Iraq PM from third term.

Eyes on nuclear talks, Iran tempers support for Assad.

Iran appoints first foreign ministry spokeswoman.


Attacks in southern Afghanistan kill at least 18.

Marines have turned Helmand fight over to Afghans.

High-ranking Chinese says ball in Japan’s court.

China's N. Korea nuclear pointman in Pyongyang.

UN rights chief says Sri Lanka heading in "authoritarian direction".

Liquid ammonia leak kills at least 15 in Shanghai.

India's GDP shows continuing slowdown.

Yasin Bhatkal: India Mujahideen 'leader' flown to Delhi.

How would US attack on Syria affect Washington's Asia pivot?


Egypt: Protests dwindle in crackdown; government refuses to give death toll, arrests.

Congo's army occupies rebel positions in breakthrough.

Displaced women, children at high risk of rape in Somali camps - rights group.

George Clooney's Sudan spy satellites 'inspired by paparazzi'.

Libya oil exports at 20 percent of pre-war level.

Former rebels sow terror in Central Africa Republic: Residents.

Nelson Mandela hospital release reports 'incorrect'.


Russia's Vladimir Putin challenges US on Syria claims.

U.S. criticizes Russia for preventing formation of coalition for possible military action in Syria.

France stands alone in support of Syria attack.

John Kerry slaps Britain in face by calling France 'oldest allies'.

German asylum system hits breaking point.

Bosnian Serbs welcome freed war criminal.

Pope Francis names Pietro Parolin as secretary of state.

Pope Francis takes a selfie, solidifies Catholic Church's newly cool image.


Obama: US has obligation as world leader to act in Syria.

F.B.I. sharpens scrutiny of Syrians in U.S. for signs of retaliation.

Pentagon insists it is open to foreign investment in the U.S..

Suriname leader's son arrested on US drug charge.

Half of Mexicans say drug violence worse under Pena Nieto: Poll.

Mexico leftist vows to block reforms, warns oil firms.

Brazil GDP beats expectations for second quarter.

Hell's Angels admit murder conspiracy in Canada.


Al Qaeda affiliate urges attacks on Egyptian army.

US kills local AQAP commander in drone strike in central Yemen.

Drone strike kills 3 suspected militants in Pakistan.

Nigeria al-Qaeda suspect to be extradited to US.


Facebook considers adding profile photos to facial recognition.

Justice Department talks with Microsoft and Google stall.

Israel looks to glitter in world diamond trade.

Forget gold: this is the real precious metal.

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