Kerry: Barrel Bombs Assad's 'Latest Barbaric Act'
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has criticized the Syrian government for dropping barrel bombs on the northern city of Aleppo.
Activists say those attacks have killed dozens of people in the past week in the city that has seen some of the worst fighting between Syrian forces and rebels opposed to President Bashar al-Assad.
In a statement Tuesday, Kerry said the bombings are the Assad administration's "latest barbaric act," and that the government is focused on inflicting more destruction on the country.
He said the opposition and the international community are trying to find an end to the fighting, while the government's actions "undermined hope" for successful peace talks in Geneva.
The first round of negotiations ended last week with little progress, but Mr. Ban and mediator Lakhdar Brahimi expect delegates from the government and opposition to resume meeting February 10.
Report: Employment May Shrink Because of Health Care Law
A report by the U.S. Congressional Budget Office predicts the new health care reform law will shrink the work force by more than 2 million full-time positions.
The report, released Tuesday, may fuel the debate over whether the health care reform law known as "Obamacare" is good for the economy. The CBO report said if people's health care plans are not tied to their employment status, fewer will choose to work and some who keep working may choose to work fewer hours. The predicted reduction in hours adds up to about 2.5 million fewer full-time positions by 2024.
Critics of Obamacare, including many Republicans, say the findings show that the plan will ultimately have an adverse effect on the economy. The White House is defending Obamacare, saying the report has not presented evidence that part-time employment has increased as a result of the health care act being implemented late last year.
The report says the long-term effects of the health care reforms are still unclear. It says over time, more people are expected to take advantage of the new coverage options, so enrollment is expected to increase sharply in 2015 and 2016.