This includes current events from Sunday, August 25, 2013 through Saturday August 31, 2013.
August 25, 2013 Syrian civil war: The Syrian government allows UN inspectors to visit the site of suspect chemical weapons attack outside the outskirt of Damascus. (BBC)
August 25, 2013 Iraqi insurgency (post-U.S. withdrawal): A wave of bomb attacks kill 41 people in Iraq. (BBC)
August 25, 2013 A bomb explodes in a bus carrying Yemeni Air Force personnel to a base near the capital Sana'a, killing at least one officer and injuring others. (Reuters)
August 25, 2013 The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) begins an investigation into a 6:30 AM EST crash of a small plane that caught fire in Taunton, Massachusetts, that is believed to have killed two people. (NBC)
August 25, 2013 Four people die and 35 are injured when the notorious tren de la muerte train derails in Huimanguillo, Tabasco, Mexico. (Russia Today) (El Universal)
August 25, 2013 The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park is now estimated to have grown to the size of Chicago. (CBS News)
Armed conflicts and attacks Newly declassified CIA documents show that top officials in the Reagan administration agreed to give Iraq information on the location of Iranian troops during the Iran-Iraq War despite awareness of Saddam Hussein's intention to use chemical weapons. (Daily Mail) (New York) Syrian civil war: The U.N team in charge of the investigation on the alleged recent chemical attacks in Syria comes under fire from snipers; none of the U.N. delegates are injured and the team reaches one of the alleged hit sites. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry describes the attack as "a shame and an offense to the world and humanity that deserves the proper punishment". (CNN) Khalaf Muftah, a former Syrian assistant information minister, warns that if Syria was attacked, his country would retaliate against Israel. (Times Of Israel) The Guardian newspaper raises the 1999 NATO Kosovo intervention as a precedent for humanitarian intervention into Syria, given the absence of a UN Mandate. (The Guardian) Clashes erupt in the West Bank after three Palestinian men are shot dead during an early morning raid by Israeli troops in the Palestinian refugee camp of Qalandia. (The Washington Post)
Politics and elections Nationwide protests are held across the Philippines over the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam. (Rappler) The Supreme Court of Iraq overturns term limits for senior governmental positions, allowing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to seek a third term in 2014.(Middle East Online)
Education All 25,000 applicants to the University of Liberia fail their entrance exams. (BBC News)
Armed conflicts and attacks Syrian civil war The Russian foreign ministry warned that an attack on the Syrian government could be "catastrophic" and told Western countries to show "prudence" over the crisis happening there. (France 24) Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said he rejects "utterly and completely" that Syrian government forces used chemical weapons, while the U.S. and its allies prepare their forces for an alleged imminent attack, which is said to be "well defined in time and space", limited to targeting command and control, airfields and artillery. (BBC) (NBC) French President François Hollande says France is "ready to punish" those responsible for the chemical attacks. (Fox News) The Syrian government is believed to be behind the recent Tripoli bombings in Lebanon after a suspect confesses to Lebanese police. (Daily Star) British Prime Minister David Cameron recalls the UK Parliament from its summer recess to discuss the UK's response to the chemical weapons attack. (BBC) Russia has begun to evacuate its citizens from Syria. (Telegraph)
Disasters and accidents The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park has now grown to about 281 square miles. (Southern California Public Radio)
Armed conflicts and attacks Syrian civil war: Moscow evacuates nationals; Iran dismisses "ridiculous" reports of Assad in Tehran; UN inspectors return to site of alleged chemical attack. (The Times Of Israel) The Saudi army is on full alert after the US-led West increased the level of its threats and said a strike on Syria may come within the next few days. (Fars News) Russia: UN response to alleged attack still premature; Jordan says no Syria strike from its soil. (Haaretz) United Nations Special Envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi says any military action against Syria in response to apparent chemical attacks must be taken after a decision by the United Nations Security Council. "What they [American administration] will decide I don't know, but certainly international law is very clear," he adds. (Reuters) US Vice President Joe Biden says there "is no doubt that Syria's government was responsible for a recent chemical attack in Damascus". (Al Jazeera) British Prime Minister David Cameron says the UK's National Security Council has agreed that the "world should not stand by" after the "unacceptable use" of chemical weapons by the Syrian government. However, a full report from the UN investigation on the chemical attack is expected before taking any measure. (BBC) Syrians in the capital Damascus race against time to prepare for a foreign strike, with many hoarding supplies and others scrambling to find accommodation further away from potential military targets. (Reuters) Russian and Chinese officials walk out of the UN Security Council meeting in New York after U.S. Permanent Representative Samantha Power calls for immediate action on Syria. (Itar Tass) Downing Street publishes the UK government's motion on Syria, which proposes waiting for a UN Security Council decision before MPs vote on any military action. (BBC) UN chemical weapons inspectors resume their investigations in Syria (BBC) Syria's deputy foreign minister says that the United States, Britain and France helped "terrorists" use chemical weapons in Syria, and that the same groups would soon use them against Europe. (Reuters) Syria's ambassador to the United Nations accuses Britain of conspiring with rebel forces to carry out the chemical attack that killed hundreds of Syrian civilians last week. (Telegraph) Iraqi insurgency (post-U.S. withdrawal): At least 51 people are killed and dozens wounded in a series of bombings and attacks in and around Baghdad. (Sky News)
Arts and culture The eastern span of the San Francisco Bay Bridge closes forever as construction crews finish the replacement. The new span is scheduled to open Tuesday. (ABC)
Law and crime Former U.S. Army Major and psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan is sentenced to death for the November 5, 2009, Fort Hood massacre that killed 13 and wounded 32 others. He will be granted an automatic appeal; the Army general (convening authority) who will review the case can grant him life without parole; any eventual military execution would need presidential approval. (CNN) Iran pursues the 1953 Iranian coup d'état case, which was orchestrated by US and Britain, in the international courts at The Hague. CIA officially admitted role in the coup in 20 August 2013. (Fars News)
August 29, 2013 Armed conflicts and attacks Syrian civil war: The French frigate Chevalier Paul leaves the port city of Toulon, though the shipping authorities declined to confirm a media report that it was headed to Syria. (Reuters) (Voice of Russia) The Parliament of the United Kingdom defeats a government motion supporting intervention in the war by 13 votes, effectively ruling out British military involvement in an international response to the chemical attacks. (BBC) French President François Hollande says "political solution" is the ultimate goal for Syria, sounding more cautious than earlier. "Everything must be done for a political solution but it will only happen if the coalition is able to appear as an alternative with the necessary force, notably from its army," he said. (Reuters) Russia sends two warships to the eastern Mediterranean. (Reuters) Lebanon and Jordan say the Lebanese air space and the Jordanian territories would not be made available for military intervention in Syria. (Xinhua) Allegations are made that the lines between Hezbollah and the Syrian regime are so blurred that Israel will hold Damascus responsible if Hezbollah bombards Israel in the coming days. (Jerusalem Post) A Kuwaiti newspaper reports that Gulf leaders have been in touch with Israel, and have asked that Israel act with restraint in the event of an attack by Western nations on Syria. (Israel National News) Britain is sending six Typhoon fighter jets to Cyprus to guard against potential retaliation by the Assad regime in the event of air strikes against Syria. (The Telegraph) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that "Syria will defend itself against any aggression." (Indian Express), (Xinhua) Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee concludes it is "highly likely" that the regime of Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attacks in Syria last week that have prompted moves towards launching military strikes. (The Guardian) Aftermath of the 2013 Korean crisis: North Korea warns against an underway joint military drill by South Korea and the United States, stating that the exercise could jeopardize a recent easing of tension on the Korean Peninsula. (Bloomberg)
Business and economy Zurich Insurance Group chairman Josef Ackermann steps down after the CFO Pierre Wauthier commited suicide earlier this week. (Reuters) NASDAQ OMX issues a preliminary report on the halt in NASDAQ-listed equities and options that took place on August 22. (NSADAQ website)
Disasters and accidents A bus accident kills 41 people and injures 33 in Kenya. (MSN Kenya) Health 8.6 million Americans take prescription sleeping pills to catch some sleep, according to the first federal health study to focus on actual use. (NBC) Scientists at Vienna's Institute of Molecular Biotechnology and Edinburgh University's Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, Scotland, clone a human mini-brain (a cerebral organoid), using stem cells; the first time brain tissue development has been replicated in three dimensions which could help with schizophrenia and autism neurological research. (MSN)
Law and crime The head of the Indian Mujahideen (IM), Yasin Bhatkal, is arrested by police. (BBC)
Natural disasters The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, now 30% contained, has grown to about 300 square miles. (NBC Bay Area)
Politics and elections Members of the UK's Fire Brigades Union vote to take industrial action in a dispute over pensions, threatening the country's first national firefighters' strike since 2002. (BBC)
August 30, 2013 (2013-08-30) (Friday) edit history watch Armed conflicts and attacks Syrian civil war: British Prime Minister David Cameron says that a "robust response" to the alleged use of chemical weapons in Syria is needed despite UK military action being ruled out. (BBC) Defence Secretary Hagel says US still building "international coalition", despite UK and Germany ruling out action. (Al Jazeera) The United Nations team of chemical weapons inspectors has headed out on the last day of its probe into a deadly poison gas attack in Syria. (The Guardian) U.S Secretary of State John Kerry has said Syrian government forces killed 1,429 people in the chemical weapons attack last week. (BBC) Damascus said Friday that a US intelligence report concluding that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in an onslaught that killed close to 1,500 people was "entirely fabricated". (France 24) U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the five permanent Security Council members that it may be two weeks before final results of an analysis of samples experts collected at the site of a chemical weapons attack last week in Syria are ready, diplomats said on Friday. (Yahoo! News) Political violence in Egypt (July 2013present): Protests in Cairo and other cities, led by supporters of deposed President Morsi, follow Friday prayers. (Al Jazeera) M23 rebellion in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: M23 rebel chief says fighters to withdraw from frontline of fighting in country's east, as violence spikes. (Al Jazeera) Arts and culture Poet Seamus Heaney from Northern Ireland, recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Literature, dies aged 74. (The Guardian) Law and crime Indonesia's highest court has upheld the death sentence for Lindsay Sandiford, a British woman convicted of smuggling $2.5 million worth of cocaine into the resort island of Bali, a court official has said. (Al Jazeera) Lebanon has charged five men, including a Syrian army officer and a Sunni cleric close to the Syrian government, over bomb attacks on two mosques in the northern city of Tripoli last week that killed at least 47 people (Al Jazeera) A 15-year-old student is shot and wounded at Carver High School in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, U.S. An 18-year-old student is arrested and charged. (Huffington Post) (Winston-Salem Journal) Science Scientists discover an 800km long canyon that is up to 800m deep in places beneath the ice sheet that covers Greenland. (BBC)
Current events of August 31, 2013 (2013-08-31) (Saturday) edit history watch Armed conflicts and attacks Syrian civil war: American President Barack Obama says that he is ready to order a limited strike, but will seek approval from Congress. (CNN) Russian President Vladimir Putin challenges the US to present to the UN evidence that Syria attacked rebels with chemical weapons and urges U.S. President Barack Obama not to attack Syrian forces. (Reuters) (BBC) The UN inspectors leave Damascus after concluding their inspection. (Los Angeles Times) Several countries advise their citizens against traveling to Lebanon as regional tensions grow over a possible US military strike on Syria. (Jerusalem Post) Arts and culture Veteran British broadcaster Sir David Frost who famously interviewed former U.S. President Richard Nixon dies on board the MS Queen Elizabeth of a heart attack, aged 74. (BBC) Disasters and accidents At least 15 people die after liquid ammonia leaks from a refrigeration unit at a cold storage plant in Shanghai. (AP via News24) Law and crime A teenager is found guilty of taking part in the fatal gang rape of a woman on a Delhi bus last year and is sentenced to three years in juvenile detention. (BBC) (Reuters)
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Created 26 Aug 2013 Last updated 4 Nov 2014