Saturday, May 26, 2018

Putin further distances Russia from Syria's Assad

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday that change was needed in Damascus, further distancing Moscow from Syrian President Bashar Assad in another sign that Assad's support may be fraying even among his few remaining allies.

Putin made the comments as a U.N. panel concluded that Syria's raging conflict had become "overtly sectarian" after almost two years of violence and tens of thousands of deaths.

Putin said Russia would not back Assad, long a close ally, "at any price," and he used some of the Kremlin's strongest language to date, indicating that Russia recognized that Assad's days were numbered.

"We are not concerned with the fate of Assad's regime," Putin told journalists in Moscow. "We understand what is going on, given that the (Assad) family has been in power for 40 years and that the need for change is certainly on the agenda."

Iran floated its own peace plan last weekend that could, in theory, lead to elections that would see Assad replaced. Like Moscow, however, Tehran has rejected calls from Washington and elsewhere for the departure of Assad. Putin provided no hint that Russia was close to signing off on any deal that would guarantee Assad's ouster.

In Geneva, meantime, a new U.N.-commissioned report outlined a dire scenario in the war-ravaged nation and asserted that ethnic and religious differences are now stoking the escalating violence.

"Entire communities are at risk of being forced out of the country, or of being killed inside the country," reported the U.N.-impaneled Commission of Inquiry on Syria, in an interim report.

Comments
Her husband wouldn’t apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

Her husband wouldn’t apologize to her father — so she shot him, police say

RIVERVIEW — A Riverview woman shot and killed her husband Saturday because he punched her father and wouldn’t say sorry, the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office said.Sabrina Michelle Hendley, 40, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Mark A. H...
Updated: 7 minutes ago

PLANT CITY — A Seffner woman died Saturday from injuries sustained when her sports utility vehicle flipped off the road and crashed into a fence near the intersection of Tanner Road and State Road 574.Amanda K. Cepeda-Duque, 21, was traveling west on...
Updated: 10 minutes ago
RAYSREPORT

RAYSREPORT

Today: vs. Orioles1:10, Tropicana FieldTV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM, 680-AM (Spanish)Tickets: $15-$275; available at Tropicana Field, raysbaseball.com, surcharge of up to $5 within five hours of gamePromotion: Raymond children’s book for kids 14 ...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Live Coverage: Tropical storm warning issued for parts of Tampa Bay as Alberto treks north

Live Coverage: Tropical storm warning issued for parts of Tampa Bay as Alberto treks north

Here’s the latest. As of 5 p.m. Saturday, a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the west coast of the Florida peninsula from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River.County emergency officials continue to monitor flood-prone areas, but so far n...
Updated: 28 minutes ago

Updated: 1 hour ago
An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

An American Airlines passenger was refused beer - so he screamed, fought and spit blood, FBI says

It began, as so many plane debacles seem to, with strange sounds in the bathroom.They were the noises of Jason Felix, one of the passengers on Wednesday’s American Airlines flight out of Saint Croix, according to a FBI affidavit recounting events lea...
Updated: 1 hour ago
With U.S. talks in limbo, Korean leaders hold surprise summit

With U.S. talks in limbo, Korean leaders hold surprise summit

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for the second time in a month on Saturday, holding a surprise summit at a border truce village to discuss Kim’s potential meeting with President Donald T...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Purdue beats Illinois 11-5, earns shot at Big 10 title

Nick Dalesandro had a pair of hits and scored three runs and Purdue rallied from three runs down to roll past Illinois 11-5 and advance to the Big Ten Tournament championship game
Updated: 1 hour ago

Glass panel falls, kills worker at skyscraper site

Police say a large glass panel fell on two workers during construction of one of New York City's tallest skyscrapers, killing one and sending the other to a hospital
Updated: 1 hour ago
Phillies' Nola pitching no-hitter thru 6 vs Blue Jays

Phillies' Nola pitching no-hitter thru 6 vs Blue Jays

Aaron Nola of the Philadelphia Phillies is pitching a no-hitter through six innings against the Toronto Blue Jays
Updated: 1 hour ago