- Toulouse France killer is a French citizen of Algerian origin
- U.N. Security Council adopts farcical 'peace plan' for Syria
- China arrests Vietnamese fishing near the Paracel Islands
Toulouse France killer is a French citizen of Algerian origin
As of this writing on Wednesday evening ET, the French police are about to assault the apartment of 23-year-old Mohammed Merah, a French citizen of Algerian descent, who claims to be a jihadist belong to al-Qaeda. Merah is the chief suspect in Monday's slaughter at a Jewish school in Toulouse, as well as the earlier murders of four soldiers, also of north African descent. "He wanted to avenge the Palestinian children and take revenge on the French army because of its foreign interventions," according to a French official. Merah indicated that his only regret was that he was not able to kill more people. CNN
U.N. Security Council adopts farcical 'peace plan' for Syria
Here's a list of the six points in the resolution adopted Wednesday by the United Nations Security Council. As you read it, keep in mind when it says "Syria commits," that in fact Syria hasn't committed to anything and will ignore this:
- Syria commits to work with Kofi Annan “in an inclusive Syrian-led political process to address the legitimate aspirations and concerns of the Syrian people.”
- Syria commits to stop fighting and immediately stop troop movements and use of heavy weapons in populated areas. As these actions are being taken, Syria should work with Annan to end all violence, under U.N. supervision. Annan will seek similar commitments from the opposition to stop all fighting.
- Syria accepts and implements a daily two hour “humanitarian pause” to deliver aid and evacuate the injured.
- Syria commits to intensify “the pace and scale of release of arbitrarily detained persons” and provide a list of all places where such people are being held.
- Syria commits to ensure freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists “and a non-discriminatory visa policy for them.”
- Syria commits to “respect freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully as legally guaranteed.”
As I wrote a couple of days ago the daily two hour "humanitarian pause" is particularly hilarious. However, when the violence finally ends, this resolution will allow Kofi Annan and the United Nations to take credit for bringing peace to Syria. AP
China arrests Vietnamese fishing near the Paracel Islands
Chinese authorities are holding two Vietnamese boats and 21 crew who were detained while fishing near the disputed Paracel Islands on Wednesday. The Chinese are demanding $11,000 for their release. China claims complete sovereignty and control over the entire South China Sea region, including many areas that historically have been sovereign territory of neighboring countries. China's official Global Times says that the measure was taken as a "hard-line" approach as a warning to Vietnam. The article says that China's internet users have been demanding a "hard-line approach." According to a Chinese analyst, "Some countries have held a hard-line position in dealing with such disputes. In this case, making a compromise is no longer in the interests of China, so we see a toughening of the position by Beijing." According to another analyst, "Besides a foreign policy regarding such disputes, regular patrols will help break the other parties' attempts to occupy such areas, and avoid the international community's misconception about the status of such disputed waters." Tensions have been growing steadily between China and its neighbors. The United States opposes China's claim to the entire South China Sea. AFP and Global Times (Beijing)