Thursday, May 24, 2018

EU threatens new sanctions on Syria

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The European Union will impose harsher sanctions on Syria, a senior EU official said Wednesday, as Russia tried to broker talks between the vice president and the opposition to calm violence. Activists reported at least 50 killed in the regime's siege of Homs.

Russia, a close ally of Syria, and the West are pushing down starkly different paths in trying to deal with Syria's nearly 11 months of bloodshed. After blocking a Western and Arab attempt to bring U.N. pressure on President Bashar Assad to step down, Russia has launched a bid to show it can resolve the turmoil.

Moscow is calling for a combination of reforms by the regime and negotiations, without calling for Assad to go. Its provisions are finding no traction with the opposition, which dismisses promises of reform as empty gestures, refuses any negotiations while violence continues and says Assad's removal is the only option.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said outside forces should let Syrians settle their conflict "independently."

"We should not act like a bull in a china shop," Putin said, according to the ITAR-TASS news agency. "We have to give people a chance to make decisions about their destiny independently."

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who met with Assad Tuesday in Damascus, said the Syrian president delegated to his vice president, Farouk al-Sharaa, responsibility for holding a dialogue with the opposition. Lavrov blamed both Assad's regime and opposition forces for instigating the violence, which the United Nations says has killed well over 5,400 people.

In Brussels, a senior EU official said the 27-nation bloc will soon impose harsher sanctions against Syria that may include bans on the import of Syrian phosphates, on commercial flights between Syria and Europe, and on financial transactions with the country's central bank. The European Union imports 40 percent of Syria's phosphate exports.

In New York, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that the Arab League planned to send observers back to Syria and had asked the U.N. to consider a joint mission. Ban called the continuing violence "unacceptable."

Comments
Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

Sunset Music Festival, more outdoor concerts could be soaked by weekend rain

  Your Memorial Day weekend weather forecast is not looking good, with a big low pressure system, Invest 90L, hovering out in the Gulf of Mexico and threatening to dump several inches of water on Saturday. For music fans, it couldn't be coming at a...
Updated: 1 minute ago
Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

Hooper: More than a restaurant, Lee Roy Selmon’s was a meeting place

It’s where former Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Doug Williams had lunch with current Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.It’s where University of South Florida fans often gathered to watch the program’s biggest road games.It’s where folks showed up in...
Updated: 11 minutes ago
The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

The Daystarter: Lightning’s season is over; latest on Bayshore street racing death; soggy Memorial Day could curtail concerts; Hooper pays tribute to Lee Roy Selmon’s

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• The rain is back, and it won’t let up through the Memorial Day weekend. Blame Invest 90L, the low-pressure system brewing in the Caribbean Sea. The National Hurricane Center predicted...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Baxter Troutman drops big ad buy in Florida AG race

Baxter Troutman drops big ad buy in Florida AG race

Ag Commissioner candidate Baxter Troutman is going on TV through the August primary, using personal wealth to challenge Republican primary rivals."This ad buy has been part of our strategy since day one — and will be the first of several," the ...
Updated: 21 minutes ago
Mailers across Florida push Rubio, Nelson on ‘Dreamers’

Mailers across Florida push Rubio, Nelson on ‘Dreamers’

WASHINGTON – A Koch brother group is sending mailers across Florida asking Sens. Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson to support a permanent solution for Dreamers along with improvements to border security.The bumblebee yellow mail pieces continue a "se...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

Graham Rahal: Indy 500 could be one of the ‘trickiest races’ in years

ST. PETERSBURG — The increased competition in the IndyCar Series was on display during qualifying for Sunday's Indianapolis 500.Two fan favorites (Pippa Mann and 2013 Grand Prix of St. Petersburg winner James Hinchcliffe) couldn't crack th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Why is the Republican Governors’ Association obsessed with Gwen Graham?

Why is the Republican Governors’ Association obsessed with Gwen Graham?

If there is a candidate for Florida Governor that the Republican Governors Association doesn't seem to like, it's Gwen Graham.Nine of the association's latest news releases from Florida take aim at the the former Congresswoman, who is considered...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Deutsche Bank to slash thousands of jobs to control costs

Deutsche Bank to slash thousands of jobs to control costs

Germany's struggling Deutsche Bank says it's slashing thousands of jobs as it reshapes its stocks trading business and tries to limit costs
Updated: 1 hour ago

FIFA Council member Nyantakyi arrested on return to Ghana

FIFA Council member Kwesi Nyantakyi of Ghana has been arrested upon his return to his home country
Updated: 1 hour ago

Investigators: Russian military missile downed Flight MH17

An international team of investigators say that detailed analysis of video images has established that the Buk missile that brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 nearly four years ago came from a Russia-based military unit
Updated: 1 hour ago