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Charity video turning London into Syria goes viral

A charity's video transposing the effects of the Syrian civil war onto an ordinary girl growing up in London has gone viral on the Internet. Save the Children UK's 94-second clip, released on Wednesday, had racked up around 14 million hits on the YouTube video-sharing website by Saturday. The clip invites viewers to imagine "if Britain were Syria". Starting with the smiling girl blowing out nine candles on a birthday cake, it shows one-second glimpses of her life, which slowly changes from playing with toys and learning the recorder as war takes hold.

World powers responsible for failing to stop Syria war crimes: U.N.

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - All sides in Syria's civil war are using shelling and siege tactics to punish and starve civilians and big powers bear responsibility for allowing such war crimes to persist, U.N. human rights investigators said on Wednesday. The independent investigators, presenting their latest report documenting atrocities in Syria, called again on the U.N. Security Council to refer grave violations of the rules of war to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution.

UN Security Council unanimously adopts Syria aid resolution

The UN Security Council on Saturday adopted a unanimous but non-binding resolution calling for humanitarian aid convoys to be allowed access across war-torn Syria, but diplomats immediately voiced doubt about its effectiveness. Syria's staunch ally Russia, with support from China, has blocked three previous resolutions aimed at pressuring the Damascus regime since the crisis began in March 2011, with an estimated half of all Syrians urgently awaiting immediate help.

Russia says its UN draft on Syria aid has no sanctions

Russia said on Thursday that its own draft UN Security Council resolution on bringing aid to desperate Syrian civilians does not include the threat of sanctions on the Damascus regime. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had prepared two documents for UN Security Council discussion comprised of a draft on aid as well as a denunciation of "terror" sweeping the war-torn country. Lavrov said the original draft on humanitarian assistance backed by Western and Arab states "is prepared in the form of an ultimatum. There are threats of sanctions."

Russia, China snub U.N. talks on draft Syria aid access resolution

By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Russia and China on Monday rebuffed the United States, France and Britain and other states by failing to attend negotiations on a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to boost aid access in Syria, said diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Russia calls new U.N. Syria aid-access draft a "non-starter"

By Michelle Nichols and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Australia, Luxembourg and Jordan have presented to the five permanent U.N. Security Council members a draft resolution demanding full access for humanitarian aid workers across Syria, which was quickly dismissed by Russia as a "non-starter."

Baird headed to Swiss peace talks on Syria as opposition remains uncommitted

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird will attend a major international meeting next week aimed at ending the Syrian civil war as a major push continues to get rebels to attend the talks. Baird will travel to Switzerland for the opening of next Wednesday's peace conference, known as Geneva 2 — the latest attempt to find a political solution to a bloody conflict that has killed an estimated 120,000 people. It wasn't clear today whether all warring sides in the Syrian conflict would be at the table for the talks.

Iran will not attend Syria peace talks: U.S. officials

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran will not attend peace talks on the Syrian civil war due to take place in Switzerland this month, senior State Department officials said on Friday. The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that barring a dramatic change in Tehran's position, Iran would neither participate formally in the January 22 talks nor join informally on the sidelines. "That's right, they're not coming," said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Syria jihadists torturing, killing detainees

Amnesty International on Thursday accused an Al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group in Syria of abducting, torturing and killing detainees at secret prisons in areas under its control. The rights group said detainees held by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) include children as young as eight and that minors have been sentenced to severe floggings and held with adults in "cruel and inhuman conditions".

Seoul to host meeting on Syrian economic rebuilding next month

SEOUL, Nov. 11 (Yonhap) -- South Korea will host an international meeting next month on helping war-torn Syria rebuild its economy, a Seoul official said Monday. The third meeting of the Economic Recovery Working Group for Syria will be held in Seoul on Dec. 12, the foreign ministry official said. "The co-chairman countries -- the United Arab Emirates and Germany -- agreed on the date ... given the smooth processes having been taken so far to resolve Syria's chemical weapon issues," the official said.
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