October 18, 2013 |
Barack Obama came to office in 2009 promising a new era of diplomacy and engagement after the confrontational "axis of evil" approach of the George W. Bush administration. During his campaign, Obama said he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran, Venezuela, North Korea, Cuba and Syria "without preconditions. " "I would," he said. "And the reason is this: that the notion that somehow not talking to countries is punishment to them, which has been the guiding principle of this administration, is ridiculous.
October 17, 2013 |
TEHRAN - Shahriyar Khatri was among many here welcoming news that this year's Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international agency that oversees a global ban on toxic armaments. "I'm very glad that people finally know more about the OPCW and its important work," said Khatri, a toxicologist and physician who works with a government-backed group raising awareness about the plight of chemical attack victims of Iran's 1980-88 war with neighboring Iraq.
October 16, 2013
Re "Gov. Brown wraps up bill signing," Oct. 14 Last week, Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed SB 374, which would have protected our current assault weapons ban from ongoing attacks by gun manufacturers. By exploiting perceived loopholes in the language of our law, manufacturers legally sell "California compliant" assault weapons. Saying that he didn't believe SB 374 would enhance public safety, Brown chose to deny the significant available data to the contrary, as well as to ignore the recommendation of law enforcement officials throughout the state.
October 16, 2013 |
The question may seem premature, since the threat of a debt-ceiling breach and a government default still darkens America's skies, like a thunderhead. Yet Tuesday's utter collapse of the House Republican caucus surely demonstrates the severe limitations of the debt ceiling as a weapon of politics: It is too frightful to serve as a weapon of war and more likely to wreak utter destruction among those who dare to wield it than among the enemy....
October 16, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Inspectors have visited almost half of Syria's declared chemical weapons sites as part of an ambitious plan to destroy the nation's lethal stockpiles, an international watchdog agency said Wednesday. A team of experts in Syria has now “concluded verification activities” at 11 sites, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said in a statement. All “were well within government-held territory,” said Michael Luhan, a spokesman for the Hague-based agency overseeing the undertaking.
October 15, 2013 |
BEIRUT - For much of Syria's civil war, President Bashar Assad has been a man in retreat. Rebels control vast stretches of his country. A little more than a month ago, he faced the prospect of U.S. military strikes that might have finally tipped the military balance. But the U.S.-Russian deal to eliminate Syria's chemical arms, which headed off a U.S. missile barrage, has changed that. Assad is now an essential partner in a process that will last until at least mid-2014, and could drag on much longer.
October 10, 2013 |
The problems are stacking up for San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith. Smith has been charged with three felony counts of illegal possession of an assault weapon, stemming from a party at his home in June 2012. He is on indefinite leave of absence from the team while he undergoes treatment for substance abuse, a development that came after his DUI arrest last month. The Santa Clara County district attorney's office said Smith, 24, is expected to surrender on his own this month.
October 10, 2013 |
Even before his on-again, off-again threat to punish the government of Syria for the use of chemical weapons, President Obama was criticized for what many saw as a halting and incoherent policy toward the civil war in that country. Advocates of muscular U.S. intervention noted that Obama had said it was time for President Bashar Assad to step aside, but he had declined to weaken Assad's position either by establishing a no-fly zone or by providing opposition forces with significant military hardware.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 9, 2013 |
San Francisco 49ers all-pro linebacker Aldon Smith has been charged with three felony counts related to possession of illegal weapons and is expected to surrender to authorities later this month, prosecutors announced Wednesday. Smith, 24, is accused of possessing several illegal assault rifles that he allegedly bought in Arizona in December 2011 when the team was playing the Cardinals, according to the Santa Clara County district attorney's office. Smith hasn't played for the 49ers since he left the team indefinitely last month to seek treatment for issues related to an arrest for DUI and marijuana possession.
October 9, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Inspectors working under a tight deadline to destroy Syria's extensive chemical arsenal are off to an encouraging start but may need limited cease-fires to complete their task in the midst of a raging civil war, the head of the international agency overseeing the effort said Wednesday. The United Nations' stated goal of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons by the middle of next year is challenging but “not unrealistic,” Ahmet Uzumcu, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told a televised news conference held in the Hague, where the international agency is based.