World News Brief, Wednesday September 11

UN to hear disarmament proposal for Syria; Japan may station government officials on disputed islands; China's economy rebounds; four convictions in Delhi rape and murder case; Conservative Party takes control in Norway; and more

Top of the Agenda: UN to Hear Chemical Weapons Proposal

France will introduce a resolution at the UN Security Council that would compel Syria to place its chemical weapons under international auspices for disarmament, building on a Russian proposal that was welcomed by the Syrian foreign minister and has deferred the possibility of punitive strikes on the Assad regime (Reuters). President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to present his plan to deal with Syria in a speech Tuesday night (AP), called the Russian initiative a potential "breakthrough," but added, "we have to be skeptical." Markets in England, France, and Germany rose and Brent crude fell as the likelihood of an imminent strike by the United States receded (Telegraph).


"Even if we knew where all the stockpiles were, removing them and destroying them—presumably a process that would have to occur outside the country—would be an enormous undertaking that could easily involve thousands of foreign workers along with thousands, even tens of thousands, of soldiers to protect them," CFR's Max Boot writes in Commentary.

"Mr. Obama and Mr. Kerry should pursue this possible solution. The removal and destruction of stockpiles of weapons would ensure greater safety for the Syrian people. And it would have longer lasting deterrent effects than the limited strikes Mr. Obama wants to deliver, without the likelihood of more civilian casualties," the New York Times writes in an editorial.

"Meanwhile, the civil war will go on. Moscow and Damascus may calculate that the Assad regime has a better chance of surviving if both chemical weapons and the possibility of U.S. intervention are taken off the table. But the regime's prolongation would be a disaster for Syria and U.S. interests in the Middle East," the Washington Post writes in an editorial.



Japan May Place Officials on Disputed Islands

Japan will consider stationing government officials on disputed islands at the center of a territorial disagreement with China (NYT), the top cabinet secretary said, as a fleet of Chinese ships entered the East China Sea on Tuesday.

This Contingency Planning Memorandum examines the potential for Sino-Japanese conflict in the East China Sea.

CHINA: Industrial output, investment, and retail sales improved in August, signaling that China's economy has rebounded after a slowdown this year (FT).


Four convictions in Delhi rape and murder case

Conservative Party takes control in Norway

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