World News Brief, Thursday December 15

US and Russia at odds over ongoing conflict in Syria; more  than 30 killed in Syria yesterday; Papua New Guinea has reinstated deposed Prime Minister Michael Somare--but he is not expected to survive a parliamentary vote of confidence; Chinese villagers in southern Guangdong province protest against local government over land grab; Egyptians vote in second stage of parliamentary elections; EU criticises election in Democratic Republic of Congo; and more

Top of the Agenda: US, Russia at Odds over Syria

The U.S. State Department called on Russia to support a strong UN Security Council response (CNN) to the ongoing conflict between the Syrian regime and opposition forces. Russia, an ally of Syria, has voted against a resolution to condemn Syria for months of violence against anti-government demonstrators that has left over five thousand people dead.

In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry criticized Western nations -- which have imposed economic sanctions on the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- for taking an "immoral" stance (al-Jazeera) on Syria by "turning a blind eye" to violence committed by anti-government protesters.

More than thirty people were killed (NYT) across Syria on Tuesday, including seven members of the Syrian security forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.


In Eurasia Review, strategic analyst Theodore Karasik explains Russia's policy towards Syria, which he says stems firstly from "Russian pride."

Russia isn't just protecting its business interests -- it fears Syrian civil war could have knock-on effects in places such as Russia's North Caucus province of Dagestan, writes the Guardian's David Hearst.

One year since the eruption of protests convulsed the Arab world, countries in the region continue to endure the pangs of revolution--some further along the road to democracy than others, explains this CFR Issue Guide.



Deposed PM Reinstated in PNG

Papua New Guinea's governor general reinstated Prime Minister Michael Somare (al-Jazeera) months after he was toppled from power by a political rival while overseas for medical treatment. But Somare is not expected to survive a parliamentary vote of confidence, likely triggering fresh elections.

CHINA: Villagers in Wukan in southern Guangdong province protested against the local government (BBC) after it announced the death of an arrested villager who had led demonstrations over a government land grab.



Egyptians vote in second phase of parliamentary elections

EU criticises election in Democratic Republic of Congo

This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on