Apr 12, 2017

Russia blocks UN probe into Syria chemical attack

Mary Altaffer / AP

Russia used its veto power at the UN Security Council Wednesday to block a draft resolution demanding that the Syrian government cooperate with a probe into the April 4 chemical weapons attack. This is the eighth time Russia has blocked action against Syria at the Security Council, per AFP.

Get smarter: This is actually a retreat from Russia...

  • Russia indicated yesterday it would sign off on the probe, which would have granted UN investigators access to details of Syria's military operations and access to its airbases. Now it has backtracked.

Assad's future: This may dampen the prospect of prosecuting Assad for war crimes (the Security Council must approve such a prosecution) and strengthens the White House's claim that Russia is covering for Assad.

Go deeper

American carnage

Protesters race up a hill to avoid tear gas in Philadelphia, June 1. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

The list of victims has swiftly grown since George Floyd died in police custody just eight days ago.

The big picture: Protests against police brutality have turned into a showcase of police brutality, with tear gas and rubber bullets deployed against crowds. The police have the arsenals at their disposal, but we're also seeing law enforcement officers becoming targets.

McConnell blocks resolution condemning Trump's actions against peaceful protesters

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blocked a resolution introduced by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday that would have condemned the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters outside the White House on Monday in order to allow President Trump to walk to St. John's Church.

What they're saying: "Justice for black Americans in the face of unjust violence, and peace for our country in the face of looting, riots, and domestic terror. Those are the two issues Americans want addressed," McConnell said on the Senate floor.

George W. Bush breaks silence on George Floyd

Goerge Bush in Michigan in 2009. Photo: Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Former President George W. Bush (R) wrote in a statement Tuesday that he and his wife, Laura, are "anguished" by the death of George Floyd, and said that "it is time for America to examine our tragic failures."

Why it matters: It's a stark juxtaposition when compared to fellow Republican President Trump's response to current civil unrest. While Trump has called for justice in Floyd's death, he's also condemned protestors and threatened to deploy military personnel if demonstrations continue.