The feasibility of an effort to destroy the Syrian government’s full chemical arsenal in less than a year could hinge on whether international authorities succeed in negotiating short-term truces between the country’s warring factions, the head of a global chemical-arms agency said on Wednesday.
Ahmet Üzümcü, director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, told reporters the mid-2014 goal could be achievable “if some temporary ceasefires can be established” in the Syrian civil war, now in its third year.
“Much depends on the situation on the ground, that’s why we have urged all parties in Syria to be cooperative,” he added at a news conference in The Hague, Netherlands. “The elimination is in the interest of all.”
He said disarmament personnel are scheduled within weeks to travel to more than 20 locations in the Middle Eastern country, the Associated Press reported.
Malik Ellahi, OPCW head of government relations and political affairs, said Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government transferred a significant portion of its chemical-warfare stockpile away from opposition-controlled areas.
He said Damascus to date has indicated “that most of the sites and facilities that we need to inspect are in government control.”
International chemical-weapons auditors “will only go and conduct [their] mission” with assurance “that security on a given day, on a given schedule is provided,” Ellahi added.
Syrian state media on Tuesday aired a video said to show disarmament personnel operating in the country, Agence France-Presse reported.
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With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."