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While you were asleep: Syrian peace unlikely, SK assassination plot, baseball star killed

Approx Reading Time-10Morning! What happened while you were asleep? Well, it’s a classic Monday. Peace in Syria was pushed to the distance, South Korea are prepared to kill Kim Jong UN, and a baseball star was taken too soon. Brutal.

 

The US accuses Russia of “barbarism” in Syria, lasting peace unlikely.

It was the ceasefire that never was. That week of lulled gunfire, of quietened violence, seems to be more the exception than the rule. At an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Samantha Power has accused Russia and the Syrian regime of being able to “stop the suffering” but choosing the hand of war to force a conclusion. Much like the entirety of the Syrian conflict, Power was referencing the city of Aleppo, in particular, Russia’s purported actions, inclusive of the destruction of a humanitarian convoy destroyed on monday, and the destruction of Aleppo to remove terrorists.

In response, Russia has claimed that it was not involved in the destruction of the convoy (which could be considered a war crime) and the actions in Aleppo are carefully constructed to ensure minimal civilian cost. Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin stated that bringing peace to Syria is “almost an impossible task”. With the bloody 5-year civil war rolling on, he may well be right.

 

South Korea claims it has plans to assassinate Kim Jong Un if threatened by NK nuclear program.

Oh. Detente. Welcome back. I long thought that I missed the geopolitical landscape of the Cold War, where nuclear threats were bandied around, coated with the warm blanket of peaceful auspices. But, as it turns out, not so much. South Korea, and their noisy neighbours over the (land-mined) fence have ratcheted up the cray, with some rather brutal rhetoric. You see, with North Korea continuing to ignore the UN, and expanding their nuclear program, casually pointed south, the South have decided to draw their own cutlass.

Asked in parliament on Wednesday (because presumably South Korean Question Time is a smidge more forward than our version) if South Korea has a special forces unit already assembled that could eliminate the NK leader, the defence minister said, “Yes we do.”

Right.

He then added: “South Korea has had a general idea to use precision missile capabilities to target the enemy’s facilities in major areas, as well as eliminating the enemy’s leadership”. If this sounds rather familiar to history fanciers or the generation before mine, it’s because it is. Cough cough. Cuba.

Clearly, lessons were not learned from the sabre-rattling which teetered us on the brink of nuclear annihilation back in those pale two weeks of 1962, where, fortunately sense reigned instead of a doomsday shroud. Thanks again, everyone involved for that but let us not tango with El Diablo again, yeah?

 

Miami Marlins ace pitcher, José Fernández, sadly taken at 24.

So often when talent is taken in its prime, it usually hasn’t had a chance to prove itself, as the suffix “what if” is mused upon, and attached to the name of those now departed. However, José Fernández refuted this truism, a searing talent, a true flamethrower extinguished by the cold hands of circumstance. The Cuban-born pitcher was truly untouchable, and at 24, the future was indeed bright. A strikeout machine, albeit a humble talent who used his charisma to win over those who doubted his prodigious gifts.

A sad day, and those who saw him knew that they witnessed greatness. However, as greatness so often goes, Fernández is now condemned to our memories, and the finite highlight reel he left with us.

Vaya con dios, José.

 

Top five #AusPol Tweets from overnight.

 

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