Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

World Digest

Article excerpt

Kerry says U.S., allies ready to aid Syrian rebels

The U.S. and several key allies looked again Wednesday for a strategy to end Syria's civil war, with their united efforts unable at the moment to stem the military gains of President Bashar Assad's regime, and Washington still unwilling to join those providing the rebels with lethal military aid.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged that President Barack Obama wouldn't send American troops to Syria. But he made clear that more aid to the rebels would be coming if the regime refused to cooperate with an international effort to be put together in June in Geneva to form a transitional government.

"In the event that we can't find that way forward, in the event that the Assad regime is unwilling to negotiate Geneva in good faith, we will also talk about our continued support, growing support for opposition in order to permit them to continue to fight for the freedom of their country," Kerry said at a news conference with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Amman, the capital of Jordan.

They later joined nine of their colleagues from Europe and the Arab world in the Jordanian capital of Amman, alongside Syrian opposition leaders George Sabra and Gen. Salim Idris to plot a path forward. There, the U.S. and its partners sought to convince Syria's rebels of the need to participate in any peace effort.

Brother defends Toronto mayor * Toronto Mayor Rob Ford's brother said Wednesday that Ford had told him that reports of a purported video that appears to show the mayor smoking crack cocaine are untrue and that the media is trying to destroy his brother.

The story has caused an uproar in Canada, and the mayor and Toronto have become the butt of jokes on late night TV in the U.S. Ford has to yet to make substantive comments or take questions.

City Councilor Doug Ford took to a microphone at City Hall to deliver a long, rambling attack on the media in defense of his brother.

"Rob is telling me these stories are untrue, that these allegations are ridiculous, and I believe him," Ford said.

Fighting rages in Congo * M23 rebels fired two rockets into the eastern Congo city of Goma, killing one person and wounding four, officials said, in an apparent spillover from three days of fighting raging north of the city. …

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