World View–British Scientists: Chemical Weapons Used in Syria

This morning's key headlines from
  • British scientists say that chemical weapons were used in Syria
  • Tensions rise in Greece over German war reparations
  • Tea-leaf-readers say that North Korea is backing down

British scientists say that chemical weapons were used in Syria

British military scientists have found forensic evidence that chemical weapons were used in the conflict in Syria. Analysis of a soil sample smuggled out of Syria proved a chemical weapon has been used, although the analysis could not determine whether the weapon was fired by Syrian government forces or rebels. VOA and Jerusalem Post

Tensions rise in Greece over German war reparations

A German man was arrested in Athens, Greece, on Friday for allegedly trying to smuggle nearly half a ton of gold and silver, as well as 300,000 euros cash, out of Greece, and take it all back to Germany. The suspect was preparing to board a Lufthansa flight for Germany. 

The timing of this incident is sensitive, because it comes as some Greek officials are claiming that Germany owes Greece some billions of euros in World War II war reparations. The reparations are for personal injury and infrastructure damage during the war, as well as repayment for loans that Greece was forced to make to the Nazis in 1942-44. 

Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble is rejecting the Greek claims: "I deem that such statements are irresponsible. Instead of misleading the people in Greece it would be better to show them the road to reform... The issue was settled a long time ago. Paying reparations is out of the question."

Tension is rising over this issue as eurozone finance ministers are having an emergency meeting in Brussels to negotiate the terms of the next bailout payment for Greece, another 10 billion euro loan. The major disagreement is over the number of civil service employees that Greece will have to lay off to qualify for the payment. BBC and Kathimerini and Euronews

Tea-leaf-readers say that North Korea is backing down

Experts who read tea leaves to try to figure out what the North Koreans are going to do are pointing to a sign that might mean that North Korea's child dictator Kim Jong-un is backing down from the hysterical series of threats that he's used to fill the world news over the last few days. According to South Korean intelligence sources, the North Koreans have stopped moving their mobile missile launchers, and haven't moved them for two whole days. The tea leaf readers are taking this as a hopeful sign that the North Koreans are not planning a missile launch on Monday after all. Other experts are saying that it's only a matter of time before the North Koreans put a nuclear weapon on a missile and launch it. Yonhap (Seoul)

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