World News

UN Security Council to Meet on Syria Weapons

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled a closed-door meeting Tuesday (2000 GMT)) at Russia's request on a resolution aimed at securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles.

Earlier, the Syrian government accepted a proposal from Russia - its most powerful ally - to put its chemical weapons under international control for subsequent dismantling to avoid a possible U.S. military strike.

Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said Britain, France and the United States will introduce a U.N. Security Council resolution Tuesday on Syria's chemical weapons.

France said the draft resolution would include the threat of force to ensure compliance, condemn the August 21 chemical weapons attack and call for those behind it to be punished at the International Criminal Court.



"It's on the acceptance of these precise conditions that we will judge the credibility of the intentions expressed yesterday. The Syrian people have suffered too much. We will not fall for delaying maneuvers therefore we need rapid results."





French officials said the resolution was designed to force Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government to act quickly.

But Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his French counterpart the threat of force was "unacceptable." Russia's Foreign Ministry said Moscow would submit its own proposal allowing for only political and diplomatic settlement to the conflict.

Iran, China and the Arab League have all said they welcomed the Russian plan. But Syria's main opposition bloc, the Syrian National Coalition, dismissed the idea as a largely meaningless measure that would allow Mr. Assad free rein to fight on with conventional weapons.

The Security Council has been unable to agree on previous measures sanctioning Syria, with Russia and China using their veto power to block three previous resolutions against President Bashar al-Assad's government.

In Washington Tuesday, the White House and a bipartisan group of senators began drafting an alternative congressional resolution that would give the U.N. time to take control of the Syrian government's arsenal of the internationally banned weapons.

U.S. President Barack Obama discussed the plan for U.N. talks with French President Francois Hollande and Mr. Cameron before meeting with senators who are wary of U.S. military intervention.

The developments came hours before Mr. Obama plans to deliver a major televised address on the Syrian crisis.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs