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Britain and France tout praises of coordinated strikes in Syria

Macron, Trump, May
French President Macron, US President Trump and Britain's Prime Minister May at the G7 Summitt. Photo: STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images

The United Kingdom's Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron have released statements confirming the success of coordinated strikes led by the U.S. in Syria in response to chemical attacks on civilians brought by the Assad regime, and sang the praises of the outcome which destroyed three significant chemical weapons plants.

QuoteThe three leaders agreed that the military strikes taken against the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons sites had been a success.
— All three leaders have spoken to each other since the strikes, confirmed a Downing Street spokesperson.

Theresa May

  • "Following the successful strikes made against the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons sites earlier today by the UK, France and United States, Prime Minister Theresa May is speaking to a number of her fellow world leaders."
  • "The PM explained that the action the UK has taken with our American and French allies was limited, carefully targeted and designed to alleviate humanitarian suffering, degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability."
  • “This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change. It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.”

Emmanuel Macron

  • “The facts and the responsibility of the Syrian regime are not in any doubt. The red line set by France in May 2017 has been crossed.”
  • “Our response has been limited to hitting the capacities of the Syrian regime that permit the production and use of chemical weapons.”
  • “From today, France and its partners will renew their efforts at the United Nations to allow the establishment of an international mechanism to establish responsibility, prevent impunity and prevent any recurrence by the Syrian regime."
Axios 7 hours ago
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North Korea says it is stopping nuclear and missile testing

Kim Jong-un sits at a desk.
Kim Jong-un. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has announced the country will stop conducting nuclear tests and launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles starting April 21, and shut down a nuclear test site in the north side of the country, through a broadcast on the state news agency KCNA reports, and President Trump announced in a tweet, later adding quotes from the message.

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State Department report cuts references to Israeli "occupation"

A Palestinian protester at the Gaza-Israel border
A Palestinian demonstrator at a protest today near the Gaza-Israel border. Photo: Ali Jadallah/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

The State Department dropped almost all uses of the term "occupation" from its latest annual report on the human rights situation in Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Between the lines: This is a significant change, because the public language used by the State Department usually communicates a policy. The U.N., the E.U., Russia, China and almost all the countries in the world see the Israeli control of the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights since 1967 as "military occupation." But Israel doesn't, and now the U.S. might not see it that way either.