Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: Syria now chemical free; India rape trial; Philippine seige spreads; Ex-CIA seeks pardon in Italy

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH
– World news compiled by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Syria says now full member of chemical arms pact, doubts persist
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: Syria became a full member of the global anti-chemical weapons treaty on Thursday, the country’s U.N. envoy said, a move that the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had promised as part of a Russian plan to avoid U.S. air strikes.

The United States reacted cautiously. Several U.N. diplomats and a U.N. official told Reuters on condition of anonymity that it was not yet clear that Syria had fulfilled all the conditions for legal accession to the treaty.

“I think there are a few more steps they have to take (before Syria is a signatory) but that’s why we’re studying the document,” a U.N. official said.

Syria was one of only seven countries not to have joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which commits members to destroying their stockpiles.

“Legally speaking Syria has become, starting today, a full member of the (chemical weapons) convention,” Syrian U.N. Ambassador Bashar Ja’afari told reporters in New York after submitting relevant documents to the United Nations.

Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for the U.S. mission to the United Nations, said Syria’s declared intention to join the Chemical Weapons Convention was just a first step.

“This long overdue step does not address the pressing and immediate need for a mechanism to identify, verify, secure and ultimately destroy Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile so they can never again be used,” Pelton said. “It also does not include immediate consequences for non-compliance.”

“The international community must insist on immediate progress toward destruction of Syria’s CW (chemical weapons) program and also make clear that there will be consequences for any Syrian noncompliance,” she said.

Pelton added that the United States would “continue our ongoing discussions with the Russians and key international partners to urgently respond to the Assad regime’s blatant disregard for international norms.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov are meeting in Geneva to try to hammer out the details of a Russian plan for Syria to place its chemical arsenal under international control.

Deterrent warrant

Syria agreed to the plan after the United States threatened military strikes to deter it from using chemical weapons after an August 21 gas attack killed hundreds of people.

Assad’s government blames the rebels for that attack. Washington blames the government and says the sarin gas used in it killed more than 1,400 people, including many children.

Russia, a staunch Assad ally, has vetoed three U.N. Security Council resolutions that would have condemned Assad’s government and threatened it with sanctions. The United States has accused Russia of holding the council hostage on the question of Syria.

According to the Chemical Weapons Convention, a country does not become a full member of the treaty until 30 days after its accession or ratification documents are deposited with the United Nations.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s press office confirmed receipt of a letter from Syria that said Damascus would immediately begin complying with the terms of the treaty.

“In their letter, the Syrian authorities have expressed their commitment to observe the obligations entailed by the Convention even before its entry into force for Syria,” it said in a statement.

U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters earlier on Thursday that the United Nations had received an “accession document” from Syria that was currently being studied and translated.

Ja’fari said Assad signed a legislative decree on Thursday that “declared the Syrian Arab Republic approval to accede to the convention.” He said Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem had written to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to notify it of Syria’s decision to join the convention.

“The chemical weapons in Syria are a mere deterrence against the Israeli nuclear arsenal,” Ja’afari said as he waved a document he said was a CIA report on Israel’s chemical weapons program.

“It’s a deterrent weapon and now the time has come for the Syrian government to join the (convention) as a gesture to show our willingness to be against all weapons of mass destruction,” he said.

Rape trial puts focus on India’s death penalty paradox
Reuters / Phuket Gazette
PHUKET: An Indian judge will announce on Friday whether four men should hang for fatally raping a young woman on a bus last December, in one of the biggest tests in years of India’s paradoxical attitude towards the death penalty.

Indian judges hand down on average 130 death sentences every year, but India has executed just three people in the past 17 years. Despite its apparent reluctance to carry out the sentences, last year India voted against a U.N. draft resolution calling for a global moratorium on executions.

In November, India ended what many human rights groups had interpreted as an undeclared moratorium on capital punishment when it executed a militant convicted for the 2008 militant attack on Mumbai. Three months later, it hanged a man from the Kashmir region for a 2001 militant attack on parliament.

“In the past year, India has made a full-scale retreat from its previous principled rejection of the death penalty,” said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director of Human Rights Watch.

She called for the complete abolition of the death penalty.

Prosecutors want the “harshest punishment” to be given to bus cleaner Akshay Kumar Singh, gym instructor Vinay Sharma, fruit-seller Pawan Gupta, and unemployed Mukesh Singh for the murder of the woman to send a signal to society that such attacks would not be tolerated.

Sex crimes are commonplace in India, and social commentators say patriarchal attitudes towards women have not been diluted by rapid economic growth.

Comments on social media websites and elsewhere suggest that popular opinion is in favour of executing the men, although a survey by CNN-IBN-The Hindu newspaper in July showed Indians were divided on the merits of capital punishment.

The victim’s parents have said their daughter’s dying wish was for her attackers to be “burned alive”.

The four men were found guilty this week of luring the 23-year-old trainee physiotherapist onto a bus on December 16, raping and torturing her with a metal bar and then throwing her naked and bleeding onto the road. She died two weeks later.

Defence counsel A.P. Singh urged Judge Yogesh Khanna to ignore the clamour for the death penalty, which he said was a “primitive and cold-blooded and simplistic” response.

Rarest of the rare

If the men are sentenced to death, a potentially years-long appeals process lies ahead. The case will go the High Court and then the Supreme Court. If the courts confirm the sentences, the final decision will lie with the president, who has the power to grant clemency.

The death penalty should be imposed only in the “rarest of rare” cases, according to a Supreme Court ruling in the early 1980s. But opponents, including former High Court judges, say the reality is quite different.

Indian courts sentenced 1,455 prisoners to death between 2001 and 2011, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. During the same peri

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

Looking for your next home in Thailand? Let us match you with a local expert in minutes!

Thank you for your interest!

One of our agents will
reach out to you soon.

I want to:
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • United States+1
  • United Kingdom+44
  • Australia+61
  • Afghanistan (‫افغانستان‬‎)+93
  • Albania (Shqipëri)+355
  • Algeria (‫الجزائر‬‎)+213
  • American Samoa+1684
  • Andorra+376
  • Angola+244
  • Anguilla+1264
  • Antigua and Barbuda+1268
  • Argentina+54
  • Armenia (Հայաստան)+374
  • Aruba+297
  • Australia+61
  • Austria (Österreich)+43
  • Azerbaijan (Azərbaycan)+994
  • Bahamas+1242
  • Bahrain (‫البحرين‬‎)+973
  • Bangladesh (বাংলাদেশ)+880
  • Barbados+1246
  • Belarus (Беларусь)+375
  • Belgium (België)+32
  • Belize+501
  • Benin (Bénin)+229
  • Bermuda+1441
  • Bhutan (འབྲུག)+975
  • Bolivia+591
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina (Босна и Херцеговина)+387
  • Botswana+267
  • Brazil (Brasil)+55
  • British Indian Ocean Territory+246
  • British Virgin Islands+1284
  • Brunei+673
  • Bulgaria (България)+359
  • Burkina Faso+226
  • Burundi (Uburundi)+257
  • Cambodia (កម្ពុជា)+855
  • Cameroon (Cameroun)+237
  • Canada+1
  • Cape Verde (Kabu Verdi)+238
  • Caribbean Netherlands+599
  • Cayman Islands+1345
  • Central African Republic (République centrafricaine)+236
  • Chad (Tchad)+235
  • Chile+56
  • China (中国)+86
  • Christmas Island+61
  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands+61
  • Colombia+57
  • Comoros (‫جزر القمر‬‎)+269
  • Congo (DRC) (Jamhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Kongo)+243
  • Congo (Republic) (Congo-Brazzaville)+242
  • Cook Islands+682
  • Costa Rica+506
  • Côte d’Ivoire+225
  • Croatia (Hrvatska)+385
  • Cuba+53
  • Curaçao+599
  • Cyprus (Κύπρος)+357
  • Czech Republic (Česká republika)+420
  • Denmark (Danmark)+45
  • Djibouti+253
  • Dominica+1767
  • Dominican Republic (República Dominicana)+1
  • Ecuador+593
  • Egypt (‫مصر‬‎)+20
  • El Salvador+503
  • Equatorial Guinea (Guinea Ecuatorial)+240
  • Eritrea+291
  • Estonia (Eesti)+372
  • Ethiopia+251
  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)+500
  • Faroe Islands (Føroyar)+298
  • Fiji+679
  • Finland (Suomi)+358
  • France+33
  • French Guiana (Guyane française)+594
  • French Polynesia (Polynésie française)+689
  • Gabon+241
  • Gambia+220
  • Georgia (საქართველო)+995
  • Germany (Deutschland)+49
  • Ghana (Gaana)+233
  • Gibraltar+350
  • Greece (Ελλάδα)+30
  • Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat)+299
  • Grenada+1473
  • Guadeloupe+590
  • Guam+1671
  • Guatemala+502
  • Guernsey+44
  • Guinea (Guinée)+224
  • Guinea-Bissau (Guiné Bissau)+245
  • Guyana+592
  • Haiti+509
  • Honduras+504
  • Hong Kong (香港)+852
  • Hungary (Magyarország)+36
  • Iceland (Ísland)+354
  • India (भारत)+91
  • Indonesia+62
  • Iran (‫ایران‬‎)+98
  • Iraq (‫العراق‬‎)+964
  • Ireland+353
  • Isle of Man+44
  • Israel (‫ישראל‬‎)+972
  • Italy (Italia)+39
  • Jamaica+1
  • Japan (日本)+81
  • Jersey+44
  • Jordan (‫الأردن‬‎)+962
  • Kazakhstan (Казахстан)+7
  • Kenya+254
  • Kiribati+686
  • Kosovo+383
  • Kuwait (‫الكويت‬‎)+965
  • Kyrgyzstan (Кыргызстан)+996
  • Laos (ລາວ)+856
  • Latvia (Latvija)+371
  • Lebanon (‫لبنان‬‎)+961
  • Lesotho+266
  • Liberia+231
  • Libya (‫ليبيا‬‎)+218
  • Liechtenstein+423
  • Lithuania (Lietuva)+370
  • Luxembourg+352
  • Macau (澳門)+853
  • Macedonia (FYROM) (Македонија)+389
  • Madagascar (Madagasikara)+261
  • Malawi+265
  • Malaysia+60
  • Maldives+960
  • Mali+223
  • Malta+356
  • Marshall Islands+692
  • Martinique+596
  • Mauritania (‫موريتانيا‬‎)+222
  • Mauritius (Moris)+230
  • Mayotte+262
  • Mexico (México)+52
  • Micronesia+691
  • Moldova (Republica Moldova)+373
  • Monaco+377
  • Mongolia (Монгол)+976
  • Montenegro (Crna Gora)+382
  • Montserrat+1664
  • Morocco (‫المغرب‬‎)+212
  • Mozambique (Moçambique)+258
  • Myanmar (Burma) (မြန်မာ)+95
  • Namibia (Namibië)+264
  • Nauru+674
  • Nepal (नेपाल)+977
  • Netherlands (Nederland)+31
  • New Caledonia (Nouvelle-Calédonie)+687
  • New Zealand+64
  • Nicaragua+505
  • Niger (Nijar)+227
  • Nigeria+234
  • Niue+683
  • Norfolk Island+672
  • North Korea (조선 민주주의 인민 공화국)+850
  • Northern Mariana Islands+1670
  • Norway (Norge)+47
  • Oman (‫عُمان‬‎)+968
  • Pakistan (‫پاکستان‬‎)+92
  • Palau+680
  • Palestine (‫فلسطين‬‎)+970
  • Panama (Panamá)+507
  • Papua New Guinea+675
  • Paraguay+595
  • Peru (Perú)+51
  • Philippines+63
  • Poland (Polska)+48
  • Portugal+351
  • Puerto Rico+1
  • Qatar (‫قطر‬‎)+974
  • Réunion (La Réunion)+262
  • Romania (România)+40
  • Russia (Россия)+7
  • Rwanda+250
  • Saint Barthélemy+590
  • Saint Helena+290
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis+1869
  • Saint Lucia+1758
  • Saint Martin (Saint-Martin (partie française))+590
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon (Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon)+508
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines+1784
  • Samoa+685
  • San Marino+378
  • São Tomé and Príncipe (São Tomé e Príncipe)+239
  • Saudi Arabia (‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬‎)+966
  • Senegal (Sénégal)+221
  • Serbia (Србија)+381
  • Seychelles+248
  • Sierra Leone+232
  • Singapore+65
  • Sint Maarten+1721
  • Slovakia (Slovensko)+421
  • Slovenia (Slovenija)+386
  • Solomon Islands+677
  • Somalia (Soomaaliya)+252
  • South Africa+27
  • South Korea (대한민국)+82
  • South Sudan (‫جنوب السودان‬‎)+211
  • Spain (España)+34
  • Sri Lanka (ශ්‍රී ලංකාව)+94
  • Sudan (‫السودان‬‎)+249
  • Suriname+597
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen+47
  • Swaziland+268
  • Sweden (Sverige)+46
  • Switzerland (Schweiz)+41
  • Syria (‫سوريا‬‎)+963
  • Taiwan (台灣)+886
  • Tajikistan+992
  • Tanzania+255
  • Thailand (ไทย)+66
  • Timor-Leste+670
  • Togo+228
  • Tokelau+690
  • Tonga+676
  • Trinidad and Tobago+1868
  • Tunisia (‫تونس‬‎)+216
  • Turkey (Türkiye)+90
  • Turkmenistan+993
  • Turks and Caicos Islands+1649
  • Tuvalu+688
  • U.S. Virgin Islands+1340
  • Uganda+256
  • Ukraine (Україна)+380
  • United Arab Emirates (‫الإمارات العربية المتحدة‬‎)+971
  • United Kingdom+44
  • United States+1
  • Uruguay+598
  • Uzbekistan (Oʻzbekiston)+998
  • Vanuatu+678
  • Vatican City (Città del Vaticano)+39
  • Venezuela+58
  • Vietnam (Việt Nam)+84
  • Wallis and Futuna (Wallis-et-Futuna)+681
  • Western Sahara (‫الصحراء الغربية‬‎)+212
  • Yemen (‫اليمن‬‎)+967
  • Zambia+260
  • Zimbabwe+263
  • Åland Islands+358

    image

    Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

    Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

    Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

    Click to comment

    You must be logged in to post a comment Login

    Leave a Reply

    Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

    image

    Follow Thaiger by email:

    Thailand44 mins ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai parents fear vaccine side effects on children

    Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

    In Thailand, Covid numbers plummet, but restrictions remain

    Video4 hours ago

    Phuket Night Life Entertainment | Bangla Walking Street is Busier Than Ever

    Sponsored6 hours ago

    Siam Paragon wins the Best Luxury Shopping Mall 2022 Award

    image
    Phuket6 hours ago

    UPDATE: German woman found in Phuket

    Environment7 hours ago

    More Thai national parks to close to allow for recovery during monsoon season

    Tourism8 hours ago

    TripAdvisor’s 2022 Best of the Best Awards includes 2 Thai hotels

    image
    Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
    Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

    Survey shows fear of side-effects preventing Thai parents from vaccinating children

    Thai Life8 hours ago

    Dengue hasn’t gone away – Dengue fever in Thailand 2022, and how to avoid it

    Phuket9 hours ago

    Elderly German woman still missing in Phuket as search enters seventh day

    Thailand9 hours ago

    Getting Goosebumps in Bangkok | GMT

    Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

    Studies show Omicron infection in vaccinated people “turbo-charges” immunity

    Thailand10 hours ago

    Thai Golf website has 36% jump in views since borders reopen

    Thailand11 hours ago

    Visakha Bucha Day 2022. Today is the substitute public holiday.

    Chon Buri1 day ago

    Authorities worry too many elephants in Chon Buri, eastern provinces

    Politics1 day ago

    Yet another allegation of sexual crimes against Thailand’s Prinn

    Thailand8 months ago

    Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

    Phuket1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

    Tourism1 year ago

    Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

    Tourism1 year ago

    In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

    Thailand1 year ago

    Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

    Trending