World Bulletin / News Desk
Kofi Annan is due to hold talks on Monday with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who said U.S. political support for "terrorists" was hindering the peace envoy's plan to end 16 months of bloodshed.
Assad also accused Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey of supplying the rebels trying to overthrow him with arms and other support.
"We know that (Annan) is coming up against countless obstacles but his plan should not be allowed to fail, it is a very good plan," Assad told German television channel Das Erste.
"The biggest obstacle is that many countries do not even want this plan to succeed so they offer political support and continue to provide the terrorists in Syria with arms and money," Assad said, according to a transcript in German of the interview conducted in English on July 5.
Annan arrived on Sunday at the Dama Rose hotel in the Syrian capital, where U.N. observers have been staying since suspending their patrols because of an increase in the level of violence.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Sunday that Syrian opposition forces were growing more effective and the sooner the violence ended, the better were the chances of sparing Syria's government a "catastrophic assault" by rebel fighters.
While Assad has faced sanctions and international condemnation over his crackdown on dissent, major Western and Arab powers have shied away from direct military action.
Turkey has reinforced its border and scrambled fighter aircraft several times since Syria shot down a Turkish reconnaissance jet on June 22 over what Damascus said were Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean. Ankara said the incident occurred in international air space.
More than 30 people killed
"The sooner there can be an end to the violence and a beginning of a political transition process, not only will fewer people die, but there is a chance to save the Syrian state from a catastrophic assault that would be very dangerous not only to Syria but to the region," Clinton told a Tokyo news conference.
She appeared to be referring to the possibility of Syrian rebels launching such an assault on state institutions rather than to any outside intervention.
"There is no doubt that the opposition is getting more effective in their defence of themselves and in going on the offence against the Syrian military and the Syrian government's militias. So, the future ... should be abundantly clear to those who support the Assad regime," Clinton added.
"The sand is running out of the hour glass."
Syria's navy fired live missiles from ships and helicopters over the weekend, in an exercise aiming at demonstrating its ability to "defend Syria's shores against any possible aggression", state media said.
More than 30 people were killed on Sunday during a government bombardment and clashes between Syrian forces and Free Syrian Army rebels fighting to oust Assad, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Rami Abdelrahman, head of the Observatory, said residents of al-Sharifa in the wider Deir al-Zor province were reporting that rebels had for the first time taken over a tank and were using it to attack army positions.
The rebels have gained confidence in recent weeks, staging bolder attacks, holding pockets of territory across the country and clashing with troops only a few miles from the presidential palace in Damascus.
The crisis threatens to topple Humala's sixth cabinet as opposition lawmakers attack the new prime minister, as well as the finance minister and energy and mines minister.
Bachelet has pledged to make major changes to Chile's education system, which was privatized under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, and is often poor quality and expensive
"If we agree to do something in Iraq, the other side in the negotiations will need to do something in return," Zarif said
Kenyatta said he chose Major-General Philip Kameru for his success in intelligence-gathering in Somalia
In Washington, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill announced she would lead a Senate hearing next month to look at the militarization of local police departments.
"I firmly believe that greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives," Pillay told the 15-member body during her final briefing
Poroshenko is scheduled to see Putin in the Belarussian capital Minsk on Aug. 26 at a meeting that will also include top leaders of the European Union and of the Russian-led Customs Union.
The Guardian newspaper said a former hostage had identified the man in the video as the leader of three Britons who had guarded foreign nationals in the city of Raqqa
Hajjaj al-Ajmi supports groups such as Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and gives refuge to prominent figures from Hamas and the Taliban but does not back the militants operating in Iraq and Syria
Iraq said that sending Yazidis to the occupied region of Nagorno-Karabakh would be a breach of Azerbaijani territory.
About 2,000 demonstrators gathered on the main road outside parliament for a second day, hours after talks on an end to the turmoil finally got going.
Widodo will be able to speed up his preparations ahead of taking office on Oct. 20. He is expected to soon resign as Jakarta governor to focus on the transition.
Freak accident prompts state minister to direct officials to provide medical aid.
Under a decree, the position of the Commissioner was established to preserve and develop ethnic, cultural, linguistic and religious identity of the Crimean Tatar people within Ukraine.
Ukraine's governing coalition collapsed on July 24, and the dissolution stemming from that event will set up a parliamentary election in late October.
Counselling centers in jails where convicted terrorists will receive intensive religious and welfare counselling in order to de-radicalize those believed to be holding 'extremist' view will also be set up.