Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Annan warns of civil war in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — International envoy Kofi Annan gave a bleak assessment Tuesday of the crisis in Syria, saying violence remains at "unacceptable levels" and warning that his peace plan is the country's last chance to avert a disastrous civil war.

Annan insisted there is still hope and said the presence of U.N. observers has had a calming effect on the crisis, which has killed at least 9,000 people since March 2011.

"There is a profound concern that the country could otherwise descend into full civil war and the implications of that are frightening," Annan told reporters in Geneva after briefing a closed-door session of the U.N. Security Council in New York by videoconference. The observation mission, he said, "is the only remaining chance to stabilize the country."

Syria has become one of the bloodiest conflicts of the Arab Spring, and world powers have been unable to stop the violence. Syrian President Bashar Assad still has a firm grip on power, and his regime portrays his opponents as terrorists out to weaken the country.

Although the death toll mounts daily, the United Nations has ruled out any military intervention of the type that helped bring down Libya's Moammar Gadhafi, in part out of fears that it could make the conflict worse. Syria is an important geopolitical linchpin with a web of allegiances to powerful forces, including Lebanon's Hezbollah and close ally Iran.

Annan has led diplomatic efforts to find a political solution to the crisis, but a truce that was to begin April 12 has never really taken hold. About 60 U.N. observers are currently in Syria and Annan said Tuesday that a full deployment of 300 should be on the ground by the end of the month.

Comments

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYCollege basketballTulsa at Temple6 p.m.ESPNewsVillanova at Georgetown6:30 p.m.FS1Dayton at St. Joseph’s6:30 p.m.CBSSNArkansas at Florida7 p.m.ESPN2; 1250-AMSMU at Wichita State7 p.m.ESPNUAuburn at Alabama7 p.m.SECUSF at East Carolina7 p.m.820-AM...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

Celtics, Olympics legend White dies

BOSTON — Basketball Hall of Famer Jo Jo White, a two-time NBA champion with the Celtics and an Olympic gold medalist, died Tuesday. He was 71 and had been battling cancer in recent years, though no cause of death was provided. In a statement, the Cel...
Updated: 16 minutes ago
Puerto Rico embraces 'broken windows' policing amid killings

Puerto Rico embraces 'broken windows' policing amid killings

Federal and local authorities in Puerto Rico say they will implement a "broken windows" policing campaign to fight a surge in killings this month across the U.S. territory
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Man who fled Hawaii psychiatric hospital pleads not guilty

Man who fled Hawaii psychiatric hospital pleads not guilty

A lawyer for a man who walked out of a Hawaii psychiatric hospital and flew to California has pleaded not guilty on his behalf but acknowledged it's obvious his client escaped
Updated: 29 minutes ago
Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

Five straight goals lift Rangers past Flyers

NEW YORK — Rick Nash scored twice while the Rangers notched five straight goals in a 5-1 victory over the Flyers on Tuesday night. Jordan Weal put Philadelphia up 1-0 before Nash, J.T. Miller, Paul Carey and Michael Grabner combined to make it 5-1 by...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Ice keeps some Texas schools closed

The Latest: Ice keeps some Texas schools closed

Roads kept icy by frigid temperatures are keeping many school systems closed Wednesday in East and Southeast Texas
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trial set to begin in ex-NFL player's road-rage killing

Trial set to begin in ex-NFL player's road-rage killing

Trial in a road-rage shooting that left a former NFL football player dead began with jury selection Tuesday in a New Orleans suburb
Updated: 1 hour ago
Trial set to begin in ex-NFL player's road-rage killing

Trial set to begin in ex-NFL player's road-rage killing

Trial in a road-rage shooting that left a former NFL football player dead began with jury selection Tuesday in a New Orleans suburb
Updated: 1 hour ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

The Latest: Pope meets with Chileans abused by priests

The Latest: Pope Francis has met with a small group of Chilean victims of sex abuse by priests
Updated: 1 hour ago