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UN Security Council meets over Syria in remote Swedish farmhouse

Backåkra, Sweden: The UN Security Council met in a secluded farmhouse on the southern tip of Sweden on Saturday in a bid to overcome deep divisions over how to end the war in Syria. In a first for the Council, which normally holds its annual brainstorming session in upstate New York, the 15 ambassadors and Secretary-General…

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UN in security talks with Syria after chemical probe put on hold

UN security experts have said they were negotiating with Syrian and Russian authorities for international chemical inspectors to deploy to the site of an alleged toxic gas attack near Damascus, after a reconnaissance mission came under fire, reported AFP. The team from the world’s chemical arms watchdog has not yet been able to begin its…

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Syria chemical weapons visit postponed after gunfire: sources

THE HAGUE – The arrival of international chemical weapons inspectors at the location of a suspected poison gas attack in the Syrian town of Douma has been delayed after gunfire at the site during a visit by a U.N. security team on Tuesday, sources told Reuters. The U.N. security team entered Douma to assess the…

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Pakistan elected to two key UN bodies

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan was elected to two important United Nations’ panels on Monday, a feat that Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi said was a recognition of Islamabad’s positive contribution to the work of the world body. The panels are: the UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the UNICEF Executive Board.  The elections took place at a…

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US, France, Britain launch new UN bid for Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: The United States, France and Britain on Saturday launched a new bid at the United Nations to investigate chemical weapons attacks in Syria, just hours after firing military strikes against Syrian targets. The three allies circulated a joint draft resolution at the Security Council that also calls for unimpeded deliveries of humanitarian aid,…

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Russia likely to call U.N. meeting over Syria attack: Russian lawmaker

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov said on Saturday that Russia was likely to call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria, RIA news agency reported. “The situation is being analysed right now. Russia will demand a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, I think,…

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U.S. envoy to U.N. says Syria used chemical weapons 50 times

UNITED NATIONS – U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Friday that Washington estimates that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons at least 50 times during the seven-year-long conflict. “Our President has not yet made a decision about possible action in Syria. But should the United States and our…

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Russia vetoes UN bid to set up Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria following an alleged toxic gas attack in rebel-held Douma. It was the 12th time that Russia has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its…

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‘World must see justice done’ in Syria: Haley

UNITED NATIONS: US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Monday urged the United Nations Security Council to act following the latest alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, warning the United States was ready to respond. Russia said a US military strike against Syria would have “grave repercussions” and stressed that the use of chlorine or sarin had…

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US blocks UN Security Council statement on Gaza violence

UNITED NATIONS: The United States on Saturday blocked a draft UN Security Council statement urging restraint and calling for an investigation of clashes on the Gaza-Israel border that left 16 dead, diplomats said. Clashes erupted as tens of thousands of Gazans protested near the border on Friday, with Israeli forces using tear gas and live…

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UN council says Yemen conditions ‘devastating’ for civilians

United Nations, United States: The UN Security Council warned Thursday that conditions in war-torn Yemen are worsening and having a “devastating” impact on civilians, with 22.2 million now in need of humanitarian assistance. The council cited indiscriminate attacks on densely populated areas, with large numbers of civilian casualties and damage to civilian structures. “The Security…

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Facebook defends track record on fighting Myanmar hate speech

Yangon: Facebook said Tuesday it is “seriously” fighting hate speech in Myanmar, following blistering criticism from UN officials who said the platform had morphed into a “beast” that helps spread vitriol against Rohingya Muslims. The social media giant has faced mounting pressure to snuff out inflammatory posts aimed at the Rohingya, a persecuted Muslim minority…

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Syria shelling puts aid delivery in Ghouta at risk; death toll hits 940

Douma, Syria: Fresh shelling of Eastern Ghouta endangered a vital aid delivery on Friday, nearly three weeks into a blistering Syrian regime offensive that has seized more than half of the rebel enclave. More than 940 civilians have been killed since Russia-backed government forces launched an assault on the last opposition bastion near Damascus on…

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Civilian suffering worse than ever in 7-year Syria war: UN

Beirut, Lebanon: The living conditions of civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday, with the conflict set to enter its eighth year. “The conditions faced by civilians inside Syria are worse than ever, with 69 percent languishing in extreme poverty,” Grandi said during a visit to Lebanon….

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Syria regime captures half of Ghouta enclave as death toll climbs

HAMMURIYEH: Syria’s government has recaptured half of Eastern Ghouta, battering the shrinking rebel enclave on Wednesday with air strikes that killed dozens and defying UN calls for a halt to violence. The blistering onslaught has prompted international outrage, including accusations by the United Nations that the government was orchestrating an “apocalypse”. The Russia-backed Syrian army…

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Syria: Fresh air strikes on Ghouta kill 45 civilians; death toll mounts to 850

Beirut: Fresh air strikes on Eastern Ghouta near Damascus brought the death toll for Wednesday’s bombardment on the rebel-held enclave near Damascus to 45, a monitor said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said at least 18 of the day’s victims were killed in strikes carried out by Russian warplanes on Hammuriyeh. The…

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UN rights body orders probe of Eastern Ghouta siege in Syria

Geneva: The UN Human Rights Council on Monday ordered an immediate probe into the situation in Syria’s besieged rebel enclave of Eastern Ghouta, as aid arrived there for the first time in weeks. The council approved a resolution calling on war crimes investigators to “urgently conduct a comprehensive and independent inquiry into recent events in…

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US makes new push for UN Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: The United States is asking the UN Security Council to set up a new inquiry of chemical weapons attacks in Syria following reports of suspected chlorine use in Eastern Ghouta, according to a draft resolution obtained by AFP on Thursday. The US push to establish the new panel comes three months after Russia…

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UN helpless in Syria; civilians continue to die

The UN convoys carrying aid for civilians have yet to reach war-affectees in various regions of Syria, including the bomb-and-siege shattered Eastern Ghouta where civilians are dying under regime bombs. Watch this report…

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U.N imagery of Syria’s eastern Ghouta shows widespread damage

GENEVA: An analysis of images by the United Nations satellite agency released on Thursday showed widespread new damage in a 62.5 square km area of Syria’s besieged enclave of eastern Ghouta since Dec. 3. The analysis found that 29 percent of grid squares showed major new damage, with buildings completely destroyed or severely damaged, and 24…

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Elderly Pakistani couple quit Syria’s embattled Ghouta amid bloodshed

Douma: An elderly Pakistani man and his wife have fled Syria’s embattled Eastern Ghouta, the Red Crescent said Thursday, the only known civilians to have left since a “humanitarian pause” took effect. The rebel enclave outside Damascus has seen some of the worst bombardment and fighting of the Syrian civil war since Russia-backed government forces…

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