U.S and France to seek Parliamentary approval before striking Syria
President Obama postponed a military strike against the Syrian government in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack so he could seek authorization from Congress. France has also called for a parliamentary vote on the issue. Francois Fillon, France’s ex-prime minister and leading figure in the opposition stated “in the current circumstances, France cannot go to war without the clear support of parliament.” Many experts have already suggested that Syria’s civil war does not pose a threat to the U.S. and that President Obama may lose a vote on the use of force, much as British Prime Minister David Cameron did last week. Moreover, a strike on Syria can worsen the violence and intensify a fight for regional influence and other problems.
UN inspectors in Syria probing alleged use of chemical weapons
UN inspection team in the Netherlands began rapid analysis of samples gathered on the chemical weapons attack in Syria. Even before the UN inspection team could complete its report, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the United States had evidence of sarin gas use in Syria through samples of hair and blood provided to Washington by first responders in Damascus. He said, “the case gets stronger by the day for a military attack” in order to convince skeptical lawmakers to authorize a military strike against the Syrian government. Joby Warrick of The Washington Post argued why even after 100,000 deaths in Syria, chemical weapons attack evoked the most visceral response.
Sri Lankan President opposed to UN findings
The UN report on human rights violations in Sri Lanka has singled out the government for most of the blame. U.N. human rights Chief Navi Pillay said “I’m deeply concerned that Sri Lanka, despite the opportunity provided by the end of the war to construct a new vibrant, all-embracing state, is showing signs of heading in an increasingly authoritarian direction”. President Rajapaksa countered her statement and said “the United Nations is a biased organization”. Ms. Pillay is due to brief the UN Human Rights Council on her findings next month, with a full report to follow in March 2014.
Radiation reached deadly levels at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant
Radiation near a tank holding highly contaminated water at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant has spiked 18-fold highlighting the struggle to bring the crisis under control after more than two years. The latest radiation reading enough to kill an exposed person in four hours was detected. Earlier in the week, Tepco (Tokyo Electric Power Company) revealed that 300 tons of toxic water had disappeared from a huge tank and may have escaped into the ocean. There has been a growing domestic and international pressureon Tepco to stop tainting the ocean. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe promised the world that his government will play a greater role in solving the water crisis.
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