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Chatter: Britain rejects Syria strike, but Obama forges on

What next for potential US military action in Syria, escalating tensions on the eastern Congo-Rwanda border, and kittens gone rogue in Brooklyn.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

British MPs vote no. A vote against military action in Syria by Britain's Parliament has left the United States without the support of a key ally.

While the vote was nonbinding, Prime Minister David Cameron said he will respect the will of the people after MPs voted against a possible strike on Syria by 285 to 272. "I get that and will act accordingly," Cameron said.

French President Francois Hollande, in an interview with Le Monde, said the UK vote did not change France's resolve for action in Syria, where government forces are believed to have used chemical weapons in a deadly attack on civilians. 

So what next for the US? The Obama administration has said it will act in its "best interests" in dealing with the Syria crisis, and that any attack would be limited. It has also rejected comparisons to the Iraq war, where those supposed "weapons of mass destruction" were never found.

Far away from Washington and London, GlobalPost correspondents have asked Syrians what they think of potential US strikes on their country — and why some Syrian rebels don't support Obama's plan to hit Assad.

WANT TO KNOW

An appeal to Pyongyang. A senior US envoy is due in North Korea to request the release of Kenneth Bae, an American missionary jailed by the reclusive state.

Bae, who is said to be in ailing health, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for attempting to overthrow North Korea by spreading anti-government propaganda, according to state media. 

Bae had described himself and a party he took to North Korea as "warriors for Christ," and had talked of bringing 300 people to a coastal town to emulate the biblical destruction of the walls of Jericho.

Rising tensions between Rwanda, DRC. Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, has appealed to Rwandan President Paul Kagame for restraint amid an escalating dispute with the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Rwanda has accused the Congolese army of cross-border attacks on its territory. But the DRC government and the UN have accused M23 rebels — which Rwanda is accused of covertly backing — of shelling Rwanda in an attempt to draw the country into a conflict in the lawless eastern Congo. 

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Rogue kittens. Every urban commuter has been there: in a rush, subway delayed, frustrations rising.  

Next time this happens, don't get angry — just think of cute, cuddly kittens. 

Yes, kittens. In what has to be one of the cutest travel snafus in New York City history, two rogue kittens shut down Brooklyn's B and Q subway lines for over an hour Thursday, as staff staged a successful rescue mission.

Almost certainly aware that kitten endangerment is the worst PR possible, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority decided to cut power to the entire B line and part of the Q line, so that workers could safely search for the cats near the dangerously electrified third rail.

"The announcer said it had to stop to rescue some cats," subway rider Sandra Polel told the New York Daily News. "I didn't mind. I wanted to get home, but I also wanted the kittens to be safe." 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-britain-rejects-syria-strike-obama-forges-on

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