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In brief: U.N. delivers report on Syrian gas attack

Mon., Sept. 16, 2013, midnight

UNITED NATIONS – The U.N. said its chief chemical weapons inspector has turned over his team’s report on last month’s alleged poison gas attack in Syria to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said the report was transmitted Sunday and the secretary-general will brief a closed session of the U.N. Security Council on its contents this morning. He will also brief the 193-member General Assembly later today.

The inspection team led by Swedish expert Ake Sellstrom was mandated to report on whether chemical weapons were used in the Aug. 21 attack in the Damascus suburbs and, if so, which chemical agents were used – not on who was responsible.

S. Koreans returning to border factories

PAJU, South Korea – South Korean managers are heading back to their factories at a complex located just north of the Demilitarized Zone to team up with North Korean workers and test-run idle assembly lines.

It’s the most recent sign of improving ties between rivals who were trading threats of war this spring.

Businessmen heading to the Kaesong complex today are relieved but also worried about whether they can make up for the millions of dollars lost since Pyongyang withdrew its 53,000 workers in April.

Afghan election will replace Karzai

KABUL, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s presidential race is kicking off, with authorities accepting nominations of would-be candidates.

Today marks the start of a wide open campaign whose winner will face numerous challenges including the final phases of the withdrawal of U.S.-led forces amid a relentless Taliban insurgency.

The election is set for April 5. Incumbent President Hamid Karzai, who has led Afghanistan most of the years since the Taliban government was ousted in 2001, is barred from running again.

Candidates have until Oct. 6 to submit their names, along with a hefty fee and voter identification information of 100,000 people backing them.

There are no clear favorites, but speculation in recent days has focused on Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul.

However, no major candidates are expected to submit their nominations until closer to Oct. 6.


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