Obama, Putin Fail to Resolve Differences on Syria
U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin are still at odds over a potential strike on Syria, after discussing the issue on the sidelines of the G20 ((Group of 20)) economic summit in Russia.
In a Friday news conference, Mr. Obama said his conversation with Mr. Putin was "candid" and "constructive." But he added that he did not believe the talk would change Russia's opposition to any foreign military intervention in Syria.
Mr. Obama is trying to win international support for military action to punish Syria's government for an alleged chemical attack that killed more than 1,400 people in August. The U.S. president said he would address the American people about the issue Tuesday night and continue to work with Congress on a resolution authorizing military action.
The president said most world leaders attending a G20 dinner, and discussions that continued into the early morning hours Friday, were "comfortable" with the U.S. conclusion that the Syrian government was responsible for the attack. He said the leaders were "unanimous" in believing that international norms against the use of chemical weapons had to be maintained.
However, he said world powers were divided on launching military action without going through the United Nations Security Council.
Mr. Putin said any foreign strike on Syria would be "illegal." He said the chemical attack was a "provocation" by opposition fighters in Syria who are receiving foreign support.
Mr. Putin said leaders from India, Indonesia, South Africa and India were among those who spoke against any military intervention at Thursday's G20 dinner.
US Jobless Rate Drops
The U.S. says its labor market advanced again in August, with its unemployment rate hitting the lowest point since late 2008 and employers adding another 169,000 jobs.
The government said Friday that the jobless rate last month edged down to 7.3 percent.
The number of new jobs in August showed the U.S. economy, the world's largest, is advancing, but only modestly and not as fast as in early 2013.
In its newest report, the government also revised its job count for June and July downward, saying that a combined 74,000 fewer jobs were added in the two months than first estimated.
The relatively weak job growth could complicate economic decisions for the country's central bank, the Federal Reserve.
Policy makers at the Fed have been weighing whether to cut the $85-billion-a-month purchase of securities they have been making to pump more money into the U.S. economy to boost its recovery.
The central bank has said that it might begin to pare back the purchases this year and end them by mid-2014. The policy makers are set to meet in two weeks and could order a cutback then, or wait and consider more economic reports before acting.
Senior Haqqani Commander Killed in Drone Strike in Pakistan