World News Brief, Thursday August 29

UK to submit draft resolution to UN condemning Syrian chemical attacks; special envoy to North Korea seeks amnesty for American missionary held in Pyongyang; ethnic Muslims killed in "anti-terror" operation, says China; thousands of Chechens seek asylum in Germany; Indian rupee hits historic low; and more

Top of the Agenda: UK Drafts Resolution for UN Action on Syria

The United Kingdom is set to submit a draft resolution to the UN Security Council on Wednesday condemning the alleged chemical weapons attack near Damascus last week and requesting authorization to "protect civilians" (FT), while the Obama administration said it is considering limited strikes to "deter and degrade" President Bashar al-Assad's ability to use such weapons (NYT). The UN's special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, urged for any military intervention to be sanctioned by the Security Council (AP). Emerging market currencies and stocks declined on Wednesday and oil prices spiked (WSJ) on concerns of possible U.S. military strikes against Syria.


"Obama never needed to go searching for coalition of the willing for Syria; one comes pre-assembled for him and has been knocking, in fact, at the door to the Oval Office for quite some time. Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, all see Syria as a grave short-term threat to their national security," writes Michael Weiss in Foreign Affairs.

"Assad's plan this week is fourfold: hunker down, survive whatever attack is materializing on the horizon, emerge from his bunker declaring victory over the perfidious Americans (no matter how many of his army bases and command posts and aircraft are on fire), and privately internalize the lesson of the American strike, which is to lay off the gas," writes Jeffrey Goldberg for Bloomberg.

"Of course ethics, not only laws, should guide policy decisions. Since the Rwandan genocide and the Balkan mass killings of the 1990s, a movement has emerged in support of adding humanitarian intervention as a third category of lawful war, under the concept of the 'responsibility to protect.' It is widely accepted by the United Nations and most governments. It is not, however, in the charter, and it lacks the force of law," writes Ian Hurd for the New York Times.



U.S. Envoy to Visit North Korea Seeking American's Release

The U.S. special envoy to North Korea, Robert King, will visit Pyongyang on Friday (NYT), seeking amnesty for Kenneth Bae, the State Department said. Bae, a Christian missionary who was arrested last November while leading a tour group, is reportedly in poor health.

Expert Marcus Noland discusses North Korea's softened rhetoric in this CFR interview.

CHINA: Chinese authorities said twenty-two Uighurs, an ethnic minority Muslim group, were killed in an "anti-terror" operation (RFA) last week.


Thousands of Chechens seek asylum in Germany

Indian rupee hits historic low

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