epa03871453 A rescue worker climbs across a line to help trapped people in Chailpanchingo, Mexico, 17 September 2013. According to media reports, Hurricane Ingrid was downgraded to a tropical storm but continued to pour heavy rain over eastern Mexico, where it killed at least 34 people.  EPA/LENIN OCAMPO TORRES

Michael Birnbaum Voters cement her status as one of Germanys longest-serving and most influential post-World War II leaders. Kenyan forces rescue most hostages from Nairobi mall Sudarsan Raghavan and Greg Miller Kenyan security forces have swept into the mall in an effort to end a standoff with assailants that left at least 68 dead and more than 175 hurt. Dozens killed in suicide bomber attack on Pakistan church Tim Craig and Haq Nawaz Khan The attack comes as the countrys Christian minority lives in increasing fear of violence from militant groups. And, for a while, it refused to import chocolates from Ukraines premier confectionery company after Russias usually pliant health inspectors suddenly discovered heretofore undetected sanitary shortcomings in the candy boxes. Russias tactics in a struggle that pits East vs. West are totally stupid and counterproductive, said Viktor Pinchuk, one of Ukraines wealthiest men and the host of an international conference here that ended Saturday, after Clinton and a parade of American and European leaders urged Ukraine to finalize the deal with the E.U. Putin wants Ukraine to join the customs union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan instead, but his strategy has been all vinegar and no honey. The Ukrainian prime minister, Mykola Azarov, called Russias demands an attempt at humiliation. And yet, as much as Putin seems to be pushing Ukraine into Europes embrace, ambivalence here runs deep. Azarov and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych have said they intend to sign with the E.U. in November, but they have a way of hedging every statement. Its a momentous choice.

Russia accuses U.S. of ‘blackmail’ over Syria chemical weapons surrender deal

of ‘blackmail’ over Syria chemical weapons surrender deal By ANI | ANI 23 minutes ago Recommend More London, Sept. 23 (ANI): Russia has accused the United States of trying to blackmail it during negotiations over what to do about Syria’s chemical weapons. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the West is attempting to use a UN resolution over chemical weapons to pave the way for military action. According to Sky News, he claimed the U.S. was threatening to stop work on implementing Syria’s chemical disarmament deal unless Russia supports a UN Security Council resolution allowing military intervention. He said that the West was trying to push through a resolution under Chapter VII, adding that, if they were successful, they would try and move the chemical weapons convention aside to advance individual, personal or geopolitical, state ambitions, the report said. He said resolution under Chapter VII, which authorised the use of force, contradicts his agreement with US Secretary of State John Kerry. Russia has put forward a plan to bring Syria’s chemical weapons under international control in response to calls for action to be taken. Syria has agreed but the final plan is still to be worked out and is subject to a degree of ratification by the United Nations. According to the report, under the plan, Syria has time until 2014 to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, but the US, Britain and France want the order underpinned by UN charter’s Chapter VII. Chapter VII allows for sanctions or even military intervention in the event that an order is not carried out. (ANI)