A UN report says sarin gas was used in a rocket attack in the Syrian capital, Damascus, last month, although it has not attributed blame.
Syria: UN probing 14 alleged gas attacks ~ link ~ UN Commission chairman Paulo Sergio Pinheiro said the Geneva-based probe had not yet determined the exact materials used but was awaiting evidence from a separate team of chemical weapons inspectors whose findings are expected to be made public later.
Turkey warplanes shoot down Syrian helicopter - with video ~ link ~ A Syrian MI-17 helicopter was downed over the southern province of Hatay after it strayed two kilometers into Turkish airspace, Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc told reporters on Monday.
West threats against Syria wreck peace talks says Russian FM - with video ~ link ~ Russia has warned that threatening the Syrian government with military force and UN resolutions could wreck peace talks aimed at resolving the crisis in the Arab country.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made the remarks on Monday after France, Britain and the United States agreed to seek a "strong binding" UN resolution with "serious consequences" if Damascus fails to hand over its chemical weapons.
Saudi Arabia bent on sectarian war in Middle East - with video ~ link ~ An expert says Saudi Arabia seeks to wage a sectarian war in the Middle East, particularly in Iraq, for its desperate need to save its own skin and improve its stability, Press TV reports.
“It [Saudi Arabia] is intent and bent on sparking and triggering a sectarian war between the Sunnis and the Shias in Iraq, in Syria and also most recently in Lebanon in order to provide the evidence to its people and to counter and stave off any internal uprisings,” Zayd al-Isa said.
He added that Saudi Arabia has propagated an image and position all the decades that it is the “defender and the guardian” of Sunni Islam.
West vows to boost Syrian "rebels" - Russia says they should be compelled to join peace talks ~ link ~ The US, UK and France have agreed to bolster Syrian rebels by providing more help, press Syria into delivering on its promise to hand over chemical weapons and seek an end to the conflict, which would involve ousting of President Bashar Assad.
The intentions were voiced by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his counterparts from Washington and London at a joint media conference.
Study finds that extremists and al-Qaeda carrying "rebel" fight in Syria ~ link ~ Almost half of the rebel forces fighting against the Syrian government are hardline Islamists or jihadists with Al-Qaeda links, according to a new study due to be published this week.
India boosts arsenal with nuclear-capable missile test - with video ~ link
Turkish police fire tear gas at anti-government protesters in Ankara - with video ~ link ~ Calls made for USA and Israel to stop selling tear gas and armored police trucks to Turkey. Stirling
Crippled Fukushima braces for Typhoon Man-Yi hit - with video ~ link ~ Typhoon Man-Yi hit southern Japan on Monday morning, bringing heavy rains and strong winds and sparking fears that it might further deteriorate the situation at Fukushima.
Workers at the site are using large weights to try and prevent cranes used to move debris from toppling over from the wind, reports Japanese broadcaster NHK. They also attached ropes to external piping and pumps, which are used to pump cooling water to and from the reactors.
Greek teachers clash with riot police during protests over layoffs - with video ~ link ~ Police fired tear gas at striking teachers and school patrol guards who tried to enter the Administrative Reforms Ministry in the country’s capital city on Monday.
The high school teachers' union, OLME, started the five-day strike against a government move to place thousands of public sector workers in a self-styled mobility scheme.
Employment gap between America's rich and poor at widest level on record - With lowest earners at same jobless rate as the Great Depression ~ link ~ Not to mention the 100 million working age Americans without jobs!!! But the lying bastards in Congress and the mainstream news media are insisting that we are in a "recovery" abet a weak one, but still a "recovery"!!! Stirling
Three aristocratic daughters miss out on father's earldom after title was claimed by eighth cousin once removed ~ link ~ It is not often that I get to write on Peerage Law, and especially Scots Peerage Law. This is a field that I am a recognized authority on, having been Scottish Editor at the famous Burke's Peerage in London. This case is interesting in that the daughters, and especially the eldest one, are claiming that the titles descend to heirs male and of talizie. But it appears that the Lord Lyon has granted the Arms of the Earl to a very distant cousin. I question if this actually ends the matter. Since the daughter is of British nationality, she...had she succeeded to the title...would have been entitled to stand for election to vacant voting seats in the House of Lords reserved for hereditary peers elected by fellow peers, and she would have been entitled to vote in such elections. That should place the matter before the Committee for Privileges of the House of Lords. She would have been in a better position had she simply used a Scottish Assumption-at-Law procedure to claim the title, rather than letting the often clueless (at least when it comes to Scots Peerage Law matters) senior officials in the Crown Office handle it. Of course, her father, being a Scots Peer, could have surrendered his titles to the Queen for a Resettlement-by-Letters Patent to eliminate the rules of male primogeniture. However, I did that and they refused. There are many powerful forces that are determined to prevent female succession, in other then the few cases where it is already allowed, to peerages. The Royal Family had to give in and allow the first born, of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's children, to succeed to the Crown (and all future children to succeed regardless of gender) but they have the light of publicity shining upon them. Generally peerage succession matters don't attract much attention. Now there are five peerages in the British Isles: the Peerage of Scotland; the Peerage of England; the Peerage of Ireland; the Peerage of Great Britain; and the Peerage of the United Kingdom. All follow the rules of English Peerage Law except for the Peerage of Scotland which follows Scots Peerage Law, which has major differences. In Scotland it is possible to succeed to a peerage based on ancient descent from a remote common ancestor of the first person created a peer (which is always hundreds of years ago). This is because Scots Peerage Law and tradition values the titles for the "glory of the Kingdom of Scotland" and for "the Clan of the title holder" rather than just the blood descendents of the person first ennobled. In certain cases, where succession could change to eliminate sexist succession rules but those in position to authorize this, elect NOT to act, those persons can be sued in foreign courts, in nations claiming universal jurisdiction in matters of Human Rights, and the person can see his or her personal property forfeited regardless of governmental or crown immunity. This is true in my case, but I have hated to push the matter that hard. I did take the matter to the European Human Rights Court, when the Crown would not authorize a Resettlement to eliminate the sexist rules but the Court ruled that I first had to go through UK courts. This is not the case if one uses foreign courts for human rights lawsuits. In any case, I have proposed that dormant peerages, that have become dormant during the Reign of the current Queen, be resettled on the female heirs, had sexist succession rules not applied. I would also support a bill allowing an existing peer to petition for a resettlement (this Scottish right to be extended to all peerages: English, Irish, Great Britain, and UK) to a daughter in the event that he does not have a son to succeed. This would prevent existing sons/heirs from being disenfranchised, something that killed a bill proposed by the late Lord Diamond, some years ago. The point that I made to the Crown Office and others, several years ago, was that as my wife had died before we had any children to succeed, and my brother is unmarried and childless, but my sister is married and has three children, it seems very strange in the 21st Century to say that she cannot succeed because of her gender. In any case, it was my right as a Scots Peer to seek the resettlement but the politicians ignored Scots Law, history, and tradition to prevent my sister's succession. Stirling [Other recent articles on this issue ~ link ~ link ~ link ~ link ~ Also see my book: Cash for Peerages: The Smoking Gun by Lord Stirling]
Costa Concordia in Iraly freed from rocks - with video ~ link ~ also see ~ link
The moment police open fire on mentally disturbed suspect on 'suicide-by-cop' mission in Times Square - which left two bystanders wounded ~ link ~ The reason so many bystanders are wounded in New York City is that the NYC Police Department requires a heavy trigger pull for all police service guns. This totally screws up shooting accuracy. Another brilliant move by NYC Mayor Bloomberg! Stirling
NSA Director modeled Top Secret War Room to 'look like' the bridge of Star Trek's Enterprise ~ link ~ Oh hell, cut General Alexander some slack. It had to look like something and I think it looks 'cool'. Now that does not mean I agree with a lot NSA does, I think that it goes overboard, but we should keep criticizes to important things. Stirling