Syria turned over more warfare chemicals on Tuesday, as overseers counted down to a Sunday deadline for the regime to surrender its final stocks.
The latest chemical-arms shipment out of Syria’s Latakia seaport left President Bashar Assad’s government still holding more than 10 percent of its declared stockpile five days before the cutoff date established by international authorities.
A United Nations spokesman last week said failure to meet the Sunday deadline could significantly diminish the likelihood that other governments would finish destroying the materials in the first half of this year, as mandated by the U.N. Security Council.
Syria’s disarmament effort has proceeded in fits and starts. The government missed a goal to finish placing its warfare materials on foreign ships by early February, and last week, the regime fell short of a new April 13 deadline for sending out its stocks from all but the hardest-to-access locations.
Still, the head of an international watchdog agency said Tuesday’s handover — the Damascus government’s 17th to date — was “encouraging.”
“We hope that the remaining two or three consignments are delivered quickly to permit destruction operations to get underway in time to meet the mid-year deadline for destroying Syria’s chemical weapons,” Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, said in a statement.
Üzümcü’s agency, which is overseeing the disarmament process in cooperation with the United Nations, said Assad’s government has now turned over 88.7 percent of its deadliest warfare chemicals and 86.5 percent of its total stockpile.
The regime agreed to relinquish hundreds of tons of chemical-warfare materials last year, when it faced possible international military action after hundreds died from a release of sarin nerve agent in a Damascus suburb in August.
Meanwhile, the chemical agency on Tuesday announced it was starting an initial review of claims that chlorine was used during combat in Syria this month, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Syria’s chemical-arms shipments for elimination do not include the common industrial substance, but its use in warfare is banned under an international chemical-arms treaty that Assad’s government joined last year.
What We're Following See More »
“In the spring of 1971, I met a girl,” started Bill Clinton. In his speech Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, Clinton brought a personal touch, telling parallel stories of his relationship with Hillary Clinton and the work she has done throughout her career. He lauded the Democratic nominee for her career of work, touching on her earliest days of advocacy for children and those with disabilities while in law school, her role as Secretary of State, and her work in raising their daughter, Chelsea. Providing a number of anecdotes throughout the speech, Clinton built to a crescendo, imploring the audience to support his wife for president. "You should elect her, she'll never quit when the going gets tough," he said. "Your children and grandchildren will be grateful."
A coalition of mothers whose children lost their lives in high profile cases across the country, known as the Mothers Of The Movement, were greeted with deafening chants of "Black Lives Matter" before telling their stories. The mothers of Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, and Trayvon Martin spoke for the group, soliciting both tears and applause from the crowd. "Hillary Clinton has the compassion and understanding to comfort a grieving mother," said Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin. "And that's why, in the memory of our children, we are imploring you — all of you — to vote this election day."
With the South Dakota delegation announcing its delegate count, Hillary Rodham Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee for president, surpassing the 2383 delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Clinton is expected to speak at the convention on Thursday night and officially accept the nomination.
About 5,500, according to official estimates. "The Monday figures marked a large increase from the protests at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where even the largest protests only drew a couple of hundred demonstrators. But it’s a far cry from the 35,000 to 50,000 that Philadelphia city officials initially expected."
Only a day after FiveThirtyEight's Now Cast gave Donald Trump a 57% chance of winning, the New York Times' Upshot fires back with its own analysis that shows Hillary Clinton with a 68% chance to be the next president. Its model "calculates win probabilities for each state," which incorporate recent polls plus "a state's past election results and national polling." Notably, all of the battleground states that "vote like the country as a whole" either lean toward Clinton or are toss-ups. None lean toward Trump.