The 15-nation UN Security Council was called into a special session yesterday to analyze letters from Baghdad's new leader and the US command on military operations, diplomats said. \nThe US, after three revisions on a resolution on Iraq's future, may also present what it hopes will be a final draft. Security Council ambassadors went on a retreat on Saturday to discuss the resolution. \nUS Secretary of State Colin Powell said he expected a breakthrough after Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi sent a letter to the UN on Saturday. \nThe letter is to set down how the military operation can be subject to a review, should the US want to engage in a major operation that Iraq's new leaders do not like. \nIraq has already said it did not want a veto over US military actions, and Powell has said there was no chance they would get one. But Iraqi officials have made clear they want a say in any large campaign by the US-led multinational force, as they believe their influence can prevent unnecessary bloodshed, like that in Fallujah. \nNo vote has been scheduled and none was expected yesterday or today, although the US and Britain, sponsors of the resolution, would like one in the coming week. \nMembers wanted to hear first from Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN envoy who helped form the interim government that is to stay in office until elections for a transitional government, expected by January 2005. Brahimi briefs the council on Monday. \nThe resolution would give international endorsement to an Iraqi interim government that takes office on June 30 and authorize a US-led multinational force to use "all necessary means" to keep the peace. \nThe presence of 160,000 foreign soldiers has given several Security Council members second thoughts, apprehensive they would be endorsing an occupation under another name. \nRussia, in particular, has hesitated in backing the resolution, saying the council should hear from Arab nations first and not carry the burden alone in approving the new government.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
LONGSTANDING NEUTRALITY: The US request came as it vied for influence in Southeast Asia with China, but Indonesia has never let foreign militaries operate there Indonesia this year rejected a proposal by the US to allow its P-8 Poseidon maritime surveillance planes to land and refuel there, four senior Indonesian officials familiar with the matter have said. US officials made multiple “high-level” approaches in July and August to Indonesia’s defense and foreign ministers before Indonesian President Joko Widodo rebuffed the request, the officials said. Representatives for Indonesia’s president and defense minister, the US Department of State’s Office of Press Relations and the US embassy in Jakarta did not respond to requests for comment. Representatives for the US Department of Defense and Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night said that he has no problem with being held responsible for the many killings under his crackdown on drugs, and that he is ready to face charges that could land him in jail, but not charges of crimes against humanity. Duterte’s televised remarks were among his clearest acknowledgement of the prospects that he could face a deluge of criminal charges for the bloody campaign he launched after taking office in the middle of 2016. Police have reported that at least 5,856 drug suspects have been killed in raids and more than 256,000 others arrested since
WEIGHING THE RISKS: One biogeochemist said that the known risks of disease from not sterilizing baby bottles outweighed that of microplastics Bottle-fed babies might ingest more than 1 million pieces of microplastics each day, new research showed on Monday, highlighting the abundance of plastics in our food products. There is growing evidence that humans consume huge numbers of the tiny particles, formed when larger pieces of plastic break down, but very little is known about the knock-on health consequences. Researchers in Ireland looked at the rate of microplastic release in 10 types of baby bottles or accessories made from polypropylene, the most commonly used plastic for food containers. They followed official guidelines from the WHO on sterilization and formula preparation conditions. Over a 21-day