Over 80 civilians in a town northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus have been executed by Islamist rebels, sources within the Syrian military told RT. Many others were kidnapped to be used as human shields.
The UNSC has strongly condemned an attack on Russia’s Damascus embassy, describing it an “act of terrorism.” A mortar shell hit Russia’s diplomatic mission compound on Thursday while another landed nearby, killing one local person and injuring nine.
Hopes were high for warmer relations between the Russian Orthodox and Catholic churches as President Vladimir Putin flew Monday to Rome for his first audience with Pope Francis. Topping the agenda is likely help for Christians in the Middle East.
The head of MI6 Sir John Sawers told the committee of MP’s and peers that Edward Snowden’s leaks have been “very damaging” and have put operative’s lives at risk. He also blamed the Guardian for publishing material that compromised national security.
Activists from 26 countries are taking to the streets on Saturday to protest fracking technologies that extract hydrocarbons by pumping pressurized chemicals underground. They say fracking contaminates groundwater and hastens climate change.
President Vladimir Putin called on the Netherlands to apologize for the alleged assault and detention of a Russian diplomat in The Hague. He slammed the incident as a “blatant violation” of the Vienna Convention and demanded those responsible be punished.
The Assad regime in Syria deserves credit for complying with the chemical weapons deal, US Secretary of State John Kerry said after the first high-level meeting with his Russian counterpart since Moscow and Washington agreed on the deal.