World Briefs

Envoy says Syria ‘being destroyed’

UNITED NATIONS – The international envoy to Syria told the Security Council on Tuesday that “Syria is being destroyed bit by bit” and his mediation effort cannot go forward unless the council unites to push the Syrian government and opposition forces toward some compromise.

The Security Council has been divided about Syria for months, with the United States, Britain, France and other Western powers backing the armed opposition and pushing for resolutions that raised the threat of sanctions. Three times, Russia and China have cast vetoes to block those resolutions.

Experts would confirm North Korean blast

SEOUL, South Korea – With North Korea appearing set to detonate an atomic device, the U.N. agency that detected two previous tests says it is prepared to confirm an explosion when it takes place. But experts say it might be difficult to establish whether the blast is nuclear in nature.

The best indication of a test will be seismic tremors and gases released into the air, phenomena that the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty identified from previous testing.

Outdoor flare started fire in Brazil club

SANTA MARIA, Brazil – Penny-pinching by a band known for its onstage pyrotechnic displays may have cost more than 230 people their lives at a nightclub in southern Brazil, according to a police inspector leading the investigation into last weekend’s deadly blaze.

Inspector Marcelo Arigony told reporters at a news conference Tuesday that members of the band knowingly purchased flares meant for outdoor use because they cost a mere $1.25 a piece, compared with the $35 price tag for an indoor flare.

Associated Press