International authorities authenticated sarin nerve agent inside two containers that Syria’s regime said it found in rebel-held territory, Reuters reports.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said President Bashar Assad’s forces allegedly recovered the substance last August, the month of a sarin-gas strike that killed hundreds of people in a Damascus suburb, the news agency said in a Monday article. Assad’s government recently finished handing over 1,300 metric tons of warfare substances under an agreement forged after the Aug. 21 incident, but the regime has continued to blame opponents for every chemical strike in Syria’s 3-year-old civil war.
A June 14 analysis by the United Nations and the world’s chemical-weapons watchdog “confirmed that these [cylinders] contained sarin,” Ban told the U.N. Security Council in a letter later that month.
Assad’s government said the containers had been “abandoned” and “did not belong to it,” according to a separate statement by Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. His agency last October said the regime had reported finding the cylinders, but it is unclear how long they have been in international custody.
The U.N. chief pressed for the elimination of the Syrian government’s remaining chemical-warfare assets “at the very earliest opportunity, including the destruction of remaining production facilities and the resolution of any possible remaining technical discrepancies in the original [stockpile] declaration.”
“When neutralization is complete, Cape Ray will deliver the result effluent by-products to Finland and Germany for destruction ashore,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said.
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When it comes to name-calling among America's upper echelon of politicians, there may be perhaps no greater spat than the one currently going on between Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Donald Trump. While receiving an award Tuesday night, she continued a months-long feud with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. Calling him a "small, insecure moneygrubber" who probably doesn't know three things about Dodd-Frank, she said he "will NEVER be president of the United States," according to her prepared remarks."We don't know what Trump pays in taxes because he is the first presidential nominee in 40 years to refuse to disclose his tax returns. Maybe he’s just a lousy businessman who doesn’t want you to find out that he’s worth a lot less money than he claims." It follows a long-line of Warren attacks over Twitter, Facebook and in interviews that Trump is a sexist, racist, narcissistic loser. In reply, Trump has called Warren either "goofy" or "the Indian"—referring to her controversial assertion of her Native American heritage.
The House on Tuesday voted 403-12 "to pass an overhaul to the nation’s chemical safety standards for the first time in four decades. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act aims to answer years of complaints that the Environmental Protection Agency lacks the necessary authority to oversee and control the thousands of chemicals being produced and sold in the United States. It also significantly clamps down on states’ authorities, in an effort to stop a nationwide patchwork of chemical laws that industry says is difficult to deal with."
"Leaders of the Republican Party have begun internal deliberations over making fundamental changes to the way its presidential nominees are chosen, a recognition that the chaotic process that played out this year is seriously flawed and helped exacerbate tensions within the party." Among the possible changes: forbidding independent voters to cast ballots in Republican primaries, and "doubling the number of early states to eight."
Citing the unpredictable nature of this primary season and the possible leverage they could bring at the convention, John Kasich is hanging onto his 161 delegates. "Kasich sent personal letters Monday to Republican officials in the 16 states and the District of Columbia where he won delegates, requesting that they stay bound to him in accordance with party rules."
Bernie Sanders "signed a letter Tuesday morning requesting a full and complete check and recanvass of the election results in Kentucky ... where he trails Hillary Clinton by less than one-half of 1 percent of the vote. The Sanders campaign said it has asked the Kentucky secretary of state to have election officials review electronic voting machines and absentee ballots from last week's primary in each of the state's 120 counties.