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Chatter: Kofi Annan resigns as Syria envoy, ending chance for peaceful resolution

Annan resigns as peace envoy, India announces Mars mission, Al Qaeda arrested in Spain and Russian billionaire seeks immortality.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
   

              

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Need to know:

Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan resigned from his post as UN special envoy to Syria. Few believed the embattled regime would follow Annan's six point peace plan that would have effectively meant negotiating with the rebels.

Annan's resignation may mark an end to any hope of a negotiated peace. Instead, the battle rages on in Aleppo, Damascus and Hama, where rebels have taken control of entire neighborhoods.

Tens of thousands have fled the country, including 1000 people in the last 24 hours. It is believed that just over 45,000 Syrian refugees are now in Turkey.

The United Nations General Assembly is meeting today to denounce the violence in Syria and urge the government to refrain from using chemical weapons against rebels.

Want to know:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un issued a policy directive that focuses on economic development. Un has recently expressed desire to boost the impoverished nation's economy amidst crippling sanctions.

Un also met with the first foreign delegation since his ascension to the throne. Chinese officials dined with the North Korean leader discussing topics unknown. After dinner, mandatory photos were taken in typical North Korean style: hands stiffly at everyone's sides and stone-cold expressions on their faces. 

Dull but important:

India has announced its intention of sending an orbital probe into space to study Mars in 2013. For those who even knew that India had a space program, the Mars probe will mark the country's most ambitious mission yet.

India will be the sixth nation to send an unmanned spacecraft to Mars, with the US, China, Europe, Japan and Russia having already attempted the feat. That said, about half have failed during the launch stage. The news of India's mission came just a day after China made a similar announcement about plans to visit the alien planet.

Just because:

Spanish police have arrested thee men who they believe are Al Qaeda-linked terrorists. The three suspects - two from Russia and one from Turkey - were found with explosives and two had been taking flight lessons. Police also found computers and manuals for flying light or remote-controlled aircraft.

In a scene out of James Bond, the trio were surveilled flying a paraglider near a British military base in Gibraltar, near Spain. The Russian men were later nabbed by special forces near Cadiz, home to a large US military base.

Strange but true:

Russian billionaire media mogual Dmitry Itskov has called on fellow billionaires to fund something called cybernetic immortality and the artificial body, which basically means transferring human consciousness into a robot body. The reason? The modest task of allowing people to live forever.

Itskov needs money to fund research that he believes could lead to human immortality by 2045. That leaves just enough time for GlobalPost's key demographic audience to take advantage of the scheme.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-kofi-annan-resigns-syria-envoy-ending-chance-peaceful-re