Syria Opposition Conditionally Agrees to Geneva Talks
Syria's main Western-backed opposition coalition says it will take part in peace talks with the government if certain conditions are met, including allowing aid workers to access besieged areas.
The Syrian National Coalition announced its decision in a statement Monday after two days of talks in Istanbul.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry praised the announcement, saying the group's participation would be a "big step forward."
The group wants the government to guarantee the establishment of humanitarian corridors, the release of detainees and for the peace negotiations to result in a political transition in Syria.
Typhoon Haiyan Downgraded in Vietnam After Devastating Philippines
One of the fiercest typhoons ever recorded has devastated the central Philippines, leaving entire cities and towns in ruins and as many as 10,000 people dead.
Aid groups are struggling to reach the hardest-hit areas where food and drinkable water are difficult to find.
The United States and several other countries are sending supplies and rescue personnel to the region. The first U.S. aid and military personnel flew Monday from Manila to Tacloban, one of the worst-hit areas.
The aid effort is being hampered by looting, as mobs not only grabbed food and water from stores, but also took consumer items like TVs, washing machines and refrigerators.
The fast-moving storm slammed into Leyte Island from the east on Friday. By Sunday, as the scale of the destruction became clear, Philippine authorities said it is near certain the death toll will rise substantially. President Benigno Aquino declared a region-wide state of calamity.
By early Monday, the storm began losing strength as it came ashore in Vietnam's northern Quang Ninh province and was downgraded to a tropical storm after making landfall. Forecasters expect it to weaken to a low depression later in the day in southern China.