Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks grind on
The United States, Japan, Canada, Vietnam and eight other nations have been working on the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership for years, and were hoping to wrap up an agreement during this week's negotiations in Atlanta.
The issues include Washington's push to extend patent protection on a promising new class of drugs for longer than other nations want. Other disputes include dairy exporter New Zealand seeking greater access to Canada's dairy market, and squabbles between the United States and Japan over auto industry trade.
Resolving these and other disputes is made more difficult by pending elections in several key nations, where some workers and farmers worry that increased trade will mean decreased employment. Many businesses support expanded trade as a way to open new markets to exports.
Syria's Assad: Middle East Would Collapse if Russian Airstrikes Fail
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday that the whole Middle East would be destroyed if Russia's aerial bombardment of militants opposed to his regime does not succeed.
"The alliance between Russia, Syria, Iraq and Iran must succeed or else the whole region will be destroyed," Mr. Assad told Iranian state television. But he added that "the chances of success for this coalition are great and not insignificant."
Mr. Assad's comments came as Russia intensified its airstrikes against the insurgents. Moscow announced that it carried out 20 missions targeting 10 Islamic State training camps, arms depots and command posts in the last 24 hours in Idlib province.
The U.S., however, accuses Russia of seeking to support Mr. Assad by targeting Western-backed opponents of his regime, instead of Islamic State fighters that a U.S.-led coalition has been bombing for more than a year.
U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that the United States would not conduct "a proxy war" with Russia in Syria. But one of Mr. Obama's chief foreign policy foes, Senator John McCain, told CNN Sunday that "of course" Washington and Moscow are already effectively engaged in a conflict in Syria.
"We don't have a strategy" in Syria, said McCain, the Arizona senator who lost the 2008 presidential election to Mr. Obama. He said Russia, by starting its aerial attack in Syria last week with only an hour's notice to Washington of its intentions, is "treating the United States with disdain and contempt."
Most of Russia's Sunday strikes were located in Idlib province in western Syria, while others hit near the de facto Islamic State capital of Raqqa near Syria's border with Turkey.