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Syria are into Russia's chemical weapons deal, but you've probably been too drunk to notice.

The Avoidance of War
SYRIA ARE INTO RUSSIA'S CHEMICAL WEAPONS DEAL
A minister said that handing over all their chemical weapons is a "victory"

A suspected delivery of sarin gas. (Photo via)

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The deal between the US and Russia on Syria's chemical weapons has been lauded as a "victory" by Syrian Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar.

The agreement, which was announced after three days of talks between Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry, states that Syria must provide full details of its chemical weapons stockpile within a week and eliminate its entire arsenal by mid-2014.

Annoncering

If Syria fails to comply, a UN resolution could be sought that allows the use of military force, with President Obama warning, "If diplomacy fails, the United States remains prepared to act."

Analysts have described the timetable for the process as extremely ambitious, and the military leader of the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army has rejected the deal, claiming that it's a ploy by Russia to buy time for President Assad.

Regardless of all the cosy diplomacy, the fighting in Syria is still as bad as ever, with heavy shelling by government forces and a number of deaths reported over the weekend.

Separatist Sieges 
THE FILIPINO ARMY RECKON THEY'VE NEARLY ENDED A WEEK-LONG SIEGE
They say they've surrounded the few dozen rebels left in Zamboanga

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Soldiers in the Philippines are reportedly closing in on a few dozen rebels who stormed the southern city of Zamboanga last Monday.

Since the gunmen – presumed to be under the control of guerrilla-turned-politician Nur Misuari – lay siege to the city, over 60,000 people have fled, with at least four civilians said to have been killed in the violence.

Analysts say that Misuari is angry because his faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) has been sidelined in government peace talks after he declared a whole area of the southern Philippines to be an independent state.

Misuari had originally said he would pursue separation by peaceful means, but his gunmen taking people hostage and setting fire to buildings suggests he may have given up on that plan.

Annoncering

Officials say that most of the hostages have now been freed and claim to have "taken back some of the areas [held by the gunmen", but admit they don't know how long it will be until the army regain control.

Lousy Labour Laws
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF POLES MARCHED AGAINST THEIR GOVERNMENT
They're not very happy about proposed labour law changes

[youtube src='//www.youtube.com/embed/a1C0vRbDth4' width='640' height='480']

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Tens of thousands of Poles spent four days marching through Warsaw in protest against proposed labour law changes.

The protesters – who supposedly numbered up to 120,000 over the four days – were demanding a higher minimum wage, greater job security and the repeal of a law raising the retirement age to 67, with many carrying banners calling on Prime Minister Donald Tusk to resign.

Marek Duda, leader of the centre-right trade union Solidarity, said, "We're becoming slaves in our own country."

Crime Fighting Computers
SOMEONE'S DEVELOPED SOFTWARE THAT PREDICTS THE NEXT TERRORIST LEADER
If it works, it's supposedly going to save everyone a lot of money

(Photo via)

(via)

A University of Maryland team has developed new software that identifies successors of captured terrorist leaders, as well as predicting how the terrorist network will reshape after its leader is captured.

The system, Stone (shaping terrorist organisation network efficacy), uses information about individual terrorists, alongside connections between terrorists, to identify likely replacements.

Annoncering

The software has been tested on cases of leaders removed from al-Qaida, Hamas, Hezbollah, and Lashkar-e-Taiba; in these cases, Stone returned three or four possible replacements for a leader and, in 80 percent of the cases, the eventual replacement was one of the names returned.

It doesn't exactly sound flawless quite yet, but it might help to cut down on the costs (the US reportedly spent more than $1 trillion in the hunt for Osama bin Laden) usually exerted on this sort of thing.

Strategic Espionage
THE GENOA COACH WAS CAUGHT SPYING ON A SAMPDORIA TRAINING SESSION
He hid under a tree in full camouflage

Genoa fans in 2007. (Photo via)

(via)

A coach for Italian football team Genoa has been suspended after he was caught spying on one of local rival Sampdoria's training sessions.

Luca De Pra, the goalkeeping coach for the club's youth team, was reportedly found under a tree while dressed in full camouflage gear.

In case you were wondering what that looked like, Sampdoria said in a statement that De Pra was hiding "like Rambo under a tree".

In their own statement, Genoa said that De Pra had been staking out Sampdoria's training session entirely of his own accord, and that spying on other clubs has never been "part of the club's modus operandi".