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Putin Says He Could Back Syria Strike If Evidence Is Convincing



MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin says he doesn't rule out his country's participation in a military operation in Syria if evidence showing that Damascus carried out chemical attacks is "convincing". He added that the operation must be conducted with U.N. approval.

In a rare interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday night, Putin said the West should not take one-sided action against Syria, stating such an action would be "an aggression." The interview came ahead of a G-20 meeting of world leaders in St. Petersburg on Thursday. The summit was supposed to focus on the global economy, but now looks likely to be dominated by the Syrian crisis, the New York Times said.

The latest on Syria:

- The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee could vote as early as Wednesday on a resolution authorizing a strike at Syria.

- Reuters reported that Barack Obama won the backing of key figures in the U.S. Congress, including Republicans, in his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria.

- The French Parliment is set to debate on Wednesday afternoon on a potential intervention in Syria, Le Monde reported. The possibility of a vote on the matter is not yet clear, but the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said it was not excluded.

- According to Reuters, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the use of force is only legal when it is in self-defense or with U.N. Security Council authorization, remarks that appear to question the legality of U.S. plans to strike Syria without U.N. backing.

Russian President Vladimir Putin during his annual press conference in Moscow, last December - Photo : Jiang Kehong - Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS

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Rare Earth Race: How China And Russia (And EVs) Are Pushing France Back Into Mining

The government is launching a "major inventory of French mining resources", to prepare for the relaunch of mining in France of the minerals needed for the ecological transition. A concern for sovereignty in the face of Chinese domination of the sector.

A worker holding up two disks of rare earth metals.

A worker displays materials which consist of rubidium, iron and boron at a workshop in Ganzhou City, east China's Jiangxi Province,

Zhou Ke/Xinhua via ZUMA
Pierre Haski


PARIS — The world of mining holds an important place in the imagination of France's past, from writer Emile Zola's "Germinal" in the 19th century to the many films about the "black faces" in the 20th. Perhaps, mining is about to also become its future.

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