Is this a harbinger of things to come?


CNN

Bashar al-Assad بشار حافظ الأسد

Bashar al-Assad
بشار حافظ الأسد

A team of internationally renowned war crimes prosecutors and forensic experts has found “direct evidence” of “systematic torture and killing” by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the lawyers on the team say in a new report.

Their report, based on thousands of photographs of bodies of alleged detainees killed in Syrian government custody, would stand up in an international criminal tribunal, the group says.

CNN’s “Amanpour” was given the report in a joint exclusive with The Guardian newspaper.

“This is a smoking gun,” said David Crane, one of the report’s authors. “Any prosecutor would like this kind of evidence — the photos and the process. This is direct evidence of the regime’s killing machine.”

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TRUSTING SYRIA? RUSSIA?


CNN

The United States is looking at new classified intelligence indicating the Syrian government may not fully declare its chemical weapons stockpile, CNN has learned. That would mean Syria will still have a secret cache of chemical weapons after the agreed-upon destruction of its declared weapons is carried out.
The intelligence is not definitive, but “there are various threads of information that would shake our confidence,” one U.S. official said. “They have done things recently that suggest Syria is not ready to get rid of all their chemical weapons.”
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“Experts begin destroying Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal”


NBC NEWS

By Becky Bratu, Staff Writer, NBC News

Khaled Al-Hariri / Reuters U.N. vehicles transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) return to their hotel in Damascus on Oct. 6.

Khaled Al-Hariri / Reuters
U.N. vehicles transporting a team of experts from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) return to their hotel in Damascus on Oct. 6.

A team of international experts began the process of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons on Sunday, according to the United Nations.

The group consists of international inspectors from the Netherlands-based watchdog Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons along with a U.N. team.

Under their supervision, “Syrian personnel used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items,” said Eri Kaneko, associate spokeswoman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon‘s office.

“This included missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment. The process will continue in the coming days,” she added.

The disarmament team arrived in Damascus on Tuesday.

Their mission follows a deadly chemical attack on Aug. 21 aimed at Damascus suburbs under the control of rebel fighters.

While the United States, its allies and the opposition blame the regime of the embattled President Bashar Assad for the attack that killed hundreds, the Syrian government has blamed the rebels.

The attack also prompted the Obama administration to threaten the Syrian regime with military strikes, which set off weeks of diplomatic negotiations that ended with a U.N. resolution on Sept. 27.

More than 100,000 have died since the conflict in Syria began in 2011 with demonstrations that have since degenerated into a bloody civil war.

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“Rouhani: Iran not a threat, sanctions are ‘violent’


NBC NEWS

By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

NEW YORKIranian President Hassan Rouhani told the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday that his country poses “absolutely no threat to the world,” and sanctions that have crippled its economy are “violent — pure and simple.”

In his first address to the world body, hours after President Barack Obama spoke, Rouhani also said he is prepared to engage in “time-bound” talks to resolve the dispute over Tehran‘s nuclear program.

Rouhani’s closely watched visit to the United Nations followed a series of diplomatic overtures the centrist-leaning cleric has made to the West since he was elected to replace hard-liner Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and he stressed his moderate credentials.”

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WORLD AWAITS DEBUT OF IRAN’S PRESIDENT AT THE UNITED NATIONS


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Will they or won’t they?
Obama and Rouhani
could make history with a handshake

President Obama and his Iranian counterpart will both be at the U.N. on Tuesday, and any interaction could be game-changing for two countries whose leaders haven’t met in three decades.

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