A key monitoring agency began debating Syria’s revised plan to turn over warfare chemicals in a closely watched disarmament effort, Reuters reports.
The Syrian government’s latest proposal for removing the substances was the focus of a Tuesday discussion at the multinational governing body of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in The Hague. The operation’s top international overseer said the government in Damascus had endorsed a 60-day timeline to complete its remaining chemical shipments, the Associated Press reported on Tuesday.
“We anticipate a lot of action in the month of March,” said Sigrid Kaag, special coordinator of the U.N.-OPCW operation. She added that a goal to destroy the entire stockpile by June 30 is still within reach.
Western envoys, though, contend that the regime must finish the transfers this month in order to allow other countries enough time to finish neutralizing the materials by the end-of-June objective date, according to Reuters. International authorities last year called for the handover to wrap up by early February, and President Bashar Assad’s regime has blamed delays on rebel threats to materials being transported across Syria’s embattled territory to a coastal pick-up point.
The chemical-disarmament agency on Tuesday said Assad’s government had placed two additional arms caches in international custody since last week. With the latest transfers, the regime has surrendered roughly one-third of its entire declared stockpile and just over a fifth of its deadliest substances, the organization said in a statement.
OPCW Director General Ahmet Üzümcü said “it will be important to maintain this newly created momentum.”
“For its part, the Syrian government has reaffirmed its commitment to implement the removal operations in a timely manner,” he added in comments to the 41-nation OPCW Executive Council.
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Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."