World Bulletin/News Desk
A Syrian astronaut who was part of a Soviet space mission a quarter of a century ago condemned the world's failure to stem violence in his home country on Friday and urged President Bashar al-Assad's opponents to keep up their struggle.
General Muhammed Ahmed Faris, a military aviator and the first Syrian in space, fled to Turkey 10 days ago, joining the ranks of prominent defectors who have included military generals and former Prime Minister Riyad Hijab.
"I decided to defect from the regime several months ago, but I was kept under surveillance and it prevented me from defecting immediately," Faris told Reuters, saying that seeing an 8-month-old child wounded by shrapnel had been the final straw.
"For the world, you watch us while we are dying and your silence is a crime, but we will succeed anyway."
Faris, 61, flew with a Soviet crew to the space station Mir in 1987 and was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union after the journey. He also received the Order of Lenin.
Moscow's support for Syria's government has been criticised by Western nations since the Syrian uprising began in March 2011. Russia and China have vetoed three Western-backed United Nations Security Council resolutions criticising Damascus and threatening sanctions.
The conflict between Assad's forces and rebels is intensifying. More than 250 people, including 123 civilians, were killed in Syria on Thursday alone, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a British-based opposition watchdog.
Turkey is taking the brunt of a swelling exodus of refugees, with 66,000 Syrians now sheltering there, according to the Turkish state disaster and emergency authority.
Canada sees China as an important trading partner and in early 2012 Harper went to Beijing to pitch the idea of Canada as a potential oil supplier.
Timmermans gained international prominence with the emotional speech he gave at the United Nations following the July 17 shooting down over eastern Ukraine of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17
An appeals court in Washington is scheduled to take up that case on Nov. 4, raising the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually be asked to resolve the issue.
The soldiers were part of a contingent from Chad, said a U.N. official who asked not to be named.
Venezuela's Socialist Party member has rolled out a variation of the classic Christian "Lord's Prayer" to implore Chavez for protection from the evils of capitalism
An internet video posted online Tuesday purported to show the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff, which called it retribution for continued US airstrikes in Iraq.
The volatile situation in Tripoli has been exacerbated by separate clashes in the eastern port city of Benghazi
"We are deeply concerned about the declaration of a large area as 'state land' to be used for expanded settlement building," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said
Judges decide images of Saudi national Mohammed al-Qahtani, who is held in Guantánamo Bay and was subjected to ‘special interrogation’, threaten national security
The annual exercise, to take place in the Yavoriv training center near Ukraine's border with Poland, was initially scheduled for July, but was put back because early planning was disrupted by the crisis
National Elections Authority chief Dieudonné Kombo Yaya said that it was likely that elections would take place at the end of next year, after the July to September rainy season.
The MPS plans to move its head office to a smaller former police station which has been empty for the last three years.
More than 120 healthworkers have died during the Ebola outbreak amid shortages of equipment and trained staff in the region
Abdiqadir Mohamed Sidii, governor of Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia, said he believed Godane and other senior al Shabaab members had been killed.
Although fighters have been prevented from taking central Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad's forces are worried they will reach it by digging tunnels from the sprawling suburbs and outlying towns under their control.
The UNHCR said the total includes 814,000 Ukrainians now in Russia with various forms of status, as well as compatriots who have fled to Belarus, Moldova, the three Baltic states and European Union.