PRESSURE MOUNTING ON ASSAD AHEAD OF GENEVA 2
A report released yesterday evening by CNN and The Guardian shows “direct evidence of the regime's killing machine,” its authors have said, likening the bodies of starved prisoners to those of the concentration camps after World War II. The report was commissioned by Qatar, a country known for its support of some of the rebel and jihadist groups fighting in Syria, and its release just ahead of tomorrow’s Geneva 2 peace conference will increase the pressure on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
After the United Nations withdrew its invitation to Iran to join the conference, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi expressed doubts that the meeting would reach a “real solution” without his country, AFP reports. Speaking at a press conference, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the UN’s decision was “a mistake” but not a “catastrophe.”
CLASHES CONTINUE IN KIEV
Violent clashes continued in Kiev for the second night in a row, with pro-EU protesters torching vehicles and throwing Molotov cocktails at riot police, who replied with plastic bullets and stones, Ria Novosti reports. The protest movement, which started in November, was recently reignited by a controversial anti-protest law, which comes into force today. Read more from AFP.
BLAST IN HEZBOLLAH STRONGHOLD IN WEST BEIRUT
At least four people died as a suspected suicide bomb exploded in a Hezbollah stronghold in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, leaving another 31 injured, according to The Daily Star. The Shia group, a fierce supporter of the Syrian government, has been the target of several attacks over the past few weeks.
ANNUAL DOLPHIN KILLING BEGINS IN JAPAN
Japanese fishermen began their annual killing of dolphins this morning amid growing international pressure to put an end to the hunts, The Guardian reports. The governor of the Wakayama prefecture, where some 250 dolphins will be culled, dismissed critics as hypocrites, likening the killing of dolphins for meat to the slaughter of cows and pigs.
BY THE NUMBERS
Almost half of South Koreans started the week with a horrible surprise... Read about it here.
A DISH BEST SERVED COLD?
Tony Blair was placed under “citizen’s arrest” for his involvement in the Iraq war as he was having dinner in a London restaurant.