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Haley: U.S. "locked and loaded" if Assad uses chemical weapons again

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley said at a U.N. Security Council meeting Saturday that President Trump told her the U.S. is "locked and loaded" if Syria uses chemical weapons again.

What's happening: Russia called a meeting on Saturday morning to discuss Friday night's coordinated strikes on Syria. Russia was pushing for a vote to condemn the strikes, carried out by the U.S., U.K., and France. It failed.

What they're saying: António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations, said: "I urge all Member States to show restraint in these dangerous circumstances and to avoid any acts that could escalate the situation and worsen the suffering of the Syrian people.”

  • Russia's U.N. envoy, Vassily Nebenzia, told the council that Russia "condemns in the strongest possible terms" the strike, and that the U.S. and its allies "continue to show blatant disregard of international law.”
  • Haley said the U.S. gave diplomacy "chance after chance" with Russia and Syria before deciding to launch the strikes, but on Friday "the time to talk ended."
  • Karen Pierce, U.K. Ambassador to the U.N., added she "will take no lessons on international law from Russia."
  • France's U.N. envoy, Francois Delattre, explained the strikes were "a necessary response."
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.