Journalist Witnesses Syrian Chemical Weapons Attack

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Hurriyet: Turkey has offered to let Israel, Cyprus and Iraq use its pipelines to move gas and oil to world markets. Business is business, after all . . .

2. Huge scoop at Le Monde: Correspondent Jean-Philippe Rémy personally witnessed chemical weapons attacks on the outskirts of Damascus:

Searching for words to describe the incongruous sound, he said it was like ‘a Pepsi can that falls to the ground.’ No odor, no smoke, not even a whistle to indicate the release of a toxic gas. And then the symptoms appear. The men cough violently. Their eyes burn, their pupils shrink, their vision blurs. Soon they experience difficulty breathing, sometimes in the extreme; they begin to vomit or lose consciousness. The fighters worst affected need to be evacuated before they suffocate.

Reporters from Le Monde witnessed this on several days in a row in this district . . .

Read the full dispatch.

3. Speaking at the World Economic Forum, John Kerry unveiled a $4 billion economic plan he says could expand the Palestinian economy by 50 percent over the next three years. See Washington Post and Time coverage, which explain that the money would come from private sector investments, not public aid.

Kerry offered no specifics on the program, but said it would focus on jobs and tourism.

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Rest O’ the Roundup

Will US policy changes hinder Israel’s war on terror?

Israel . . . will once again find itself alone in its aggressive approach to fighting terror.

Israel’s investigating an explosion in northern Israel that may have been the result of a rocket fired from Lebanon. Reuters coverage.

According to The Media Line, Palestinian women are quietly making modest, encouraging in-roads into the private sector work force.

Australian lawmaker calls Israel lobby ‘cancerous’

A think-tanker told the World Economic Forum that Hezbollah has 5,000 men in Syria right now, and another 5,000 are on the way.

Bashar Assad’s to blame for the civil war’s spillover effects on Israel, Lebanon, and Turkey, argues a Times of London staff-ed.

Worth reading: Hezbollah, a product of Arab media propaganda.

(Image of World Economic Forum via Flickr/US Dept. of State)

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