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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kurdish government says Islamic State used chemical weapons

BAGHDAD — Kurdish authorities in Iraq said Saturday they have evidence that the Islamic State group used chlorine gas as a chemical weapon against peshmerga fighters, the latest alleged atrocity carried out by the extremist organization now under attack in Tikrit.

Risch, Mitchell vie for U.S. Senate in Idaho

BOISE – When he was Idaho’s governor for a scant seven months, Jim Risch was a whirlwind of activity, writing an unprecedented management plan for roadless areas, reforming the state Department of Health and Welfare and nursing education programs, and calling a special session of the Legislature to enact a sweeping and controversial shift of the state’s school funding system, raising the sales tax while lowering property taxes. But in the past six years serving as Idaho’s junior senator in Washington, D.C., Risch’s legislative accomplishments have been slim. According to the official records of Congress, he’s been the lead sponsor on 11 bills, just two of which have become law, both dealing with specific, small water projects in Southern Idaho. In the current Congress, he’s co-sponsored 188 bills, with the largest group aimed at reducing environmental regulations. In the 90 votes he has cast in the Senate since June, he voted “no” nearly two-thirds of the time.

Mortar shells hit near inspectors’ hotel in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Two mortar shells hit Syria's capital Saturday near a hotel where international chemical inspectors and United Nations staff are staying, state media and a hotel guest said. An 8 year old was killed and 11 people were hurt in the blasts in the upscale Abu Roumaneh area of Damascus, the SANA news agency said. One shell fell near a school and the other on a roof, damaging several shops and cars.

Global chemical watchdog wins Nobel Peace Prize

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for working to eliminate the scourge that has haunted generations from World War I to the battlefields of Syria.

2nd chemical weapons team heading for Syria

THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The chief of the global chemical weapons watchdog said Tuesday the organization is sending a second team of inspectors to Syria to expand its high-stakes, high-risk mission to rid Syria of its poison gas stockpile.

Obama applauds UN deal on Syria’s chemical weapons

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says a deal reached on a United Nations resolution to eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons is “potentially a huge victory for the international community.”

Obama: UN must enforce ban on chemical weapons

UNITED NATIONS — President Barack Obama says the U.N. Security council must agree to a resolution on Syrian chemical weapons that includes consequences for the regime of President Bashar Assad if he doesn’t meet demands to dismantle his chemical stockpile.

UN: ’Convincing evidence’ of Syria chemical attack

UNITED NATIONS — U.N. inspectors say there is “clear and convincing evidence” that chemical weapons were used on a relatively large scale in an attack last month in Syria that killed hundreds of people.

Syria weapons deal averts U.S. military move for now

GENEVA (AP) — A diplomatic breakthrough Saturday on securing and destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile averted the threat of U.S. military action for the moment and could swing momentum toward ending a horrific civil war. Marathon negotiations between U.S. and Russian diplomats at a Geneva hotel produced a sweeping agreement that will require one of the most ambitious arms-control efforts in history.

Syria positive about giving up chemical weapons

MOSCOW — Syria on Monday quickly welcomed a call from Russia, its close ally, to place Syrian chemical arsenals under international control, then destroy them to avert a U.S. strike, but did not offer a time frame or any other specifics.

Regional lawmakers hesitant to back Obama’s Syria plan

The Inland Northwest congressional delegation is treading softly as President Barack Obama seeks authorization to use a big stick in response to charges that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against its people. U.S. Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican serving on the Senate’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee, said he was reluctant to authorize any military action despite the “awful” and “horrendous” conditions in the country. During a committee meeting Tuesday, Risch questioned Secretary of State John Kerry about the country’s response if Russia, Iran, Israel and other regional actors embroiled themselves in the conflict.

Syrians bracing for possible US strike

WASHINGTON (AP) — Edging toward a punitive strike against Syria, President Barack Obama said Friday he is weighing "limited and narrow" action as the administration bluntly accused Bashar Assad's government of launching a chemical weapons attack that killed at least 1,429 people — far more than previous estimates — including more than 400 children. No "boots on the ground," Obama said, seeking to reassure Americans weary after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rebels attack sprawling air base in northern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian rebels attacked a sprawling military air base in the country's northwest on Saturday, while in the south opposition forces assaulted a string of army checkpoints and positions, activists said. The raids follow nearly two weeks of advances by Syrian troops, mostly in the suburbs of the capital, Damascus, and areas near the Lebanese border in the central province of Homs.