In brief: U.S. investigates reported Syrian poison gas attack
DAMASCUS, Syria – The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far “unsubstantiated,” adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response.
Both sides in Syria’s civil war blamed each other for the alleged attack that reportedly injured scores of people Friday.
The details of what happened in Kfar Zeita, an opposition-held village in Hama province remain murky. “We are trying to run this down,” Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said during an appearance Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “So far it’s unsubstantiated, but we’ve shown, I think, in the past that we will do everything in our power to establish what has happened and then consider possible steps in response,” she said.
Interim premier to step down
TRIPOLI, Libya – Libya’s government said Sunday that the interim prime minister had declined a parliamentary mandate to form a new government and will instead step down, in a move likely to compound the difficulties facing a government already divided and facing widespread unrest and militia violence.
Interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani announced on the interim government’s website that he was leaving his post, but would stay on as head of the Cabinet until a replacement could be found.
He said he had made his decision “to protect the interests of the country and so as not to drag different sides into fighting when there can be no winner.”
36 reported killed in bus collision
VERACRUZ, Mexico – A passenger bus slammed into a broken-down truck and burst into flames, killing at least 36 people Sunday in southern Mexico, the Veracruz state government reported.
Both state and federal officials said four people survived the crash. A communique from the state civil defense agency said the victims were business people from the region who were traveling from the Tabasco state capital of Villahermosa to Mexico City.