'Blood on UN hands' over Syria

The hands of the UN are stained with blood due to its failure to stop the atrocities of the Assad regime in Syria, Prime Minister David Cameron told the General Assembly today.

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Aleppo's ancient market set alight

Hundreds of shops in Aleppo's ancient market were set on fire during fighting between government soldiers and rebels yesterday.

Activists say the army shelled the market and then prevented people from entering the area to put the flames out. So far almost 1000 shops are thought to be destroyed.

Aleppo's Old City is one of several locations in Syria declared world heritage sites by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency, that are now at risk from the fighting. The eighteen month conflict has killed an estimated 30,000 people.

Julian Assange attacks Barack Obama over freedom of speech

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, speaking via a video feed from the Ecuadorian Embassy arrest in London, lashed out at Barack Obama for supporting freedom of speech in the Middle East while simultaneously "persecuting" his organization for leaking diplomatic cables.

Assange mocked Obama for defending free speech in the Arab world in an address to the United Nations on Tuesday, pointing to his own experience as evidence that Obama has "done more to criminalize free speech than any other U.S. president."

It must have come as a surprise to the Egyptian teenagers who washed American teargas out of their eyes (during the Arab Spring) to hear that the U.S. supported change in the Middle East," Assange said.

It's time for President Obama to keep his word ... and for the U.S. to cease its persecution of WikiLeaks,

– Julian Assange

Assange's combative comments, plus statements made by Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino and his other allies at the event, suggested no solution is in sight to the diplomatic standoff surrounding the 41 year old Australian.

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Clinton tells Myanmar president to ease U.S. import ban

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has told Myanmar President Thein Sein that the United States would take steps to ease the longstanding U.S. ban on imports from the country, a major boon to the Southeast Asian nation as it emerges from years of political and economic isolation.

"In recognition of the continued progress toward reform and in response to requests from both the government and the opposition, the United States is taking the next step in normalizing our commercial relationship," Clinton told Thein Sein in a meeting on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.

"We will begin the process of easing restrictions on imports of Burmese goods into the United States. We hope this will provide more opportunities for your people to sell their goods into our market," Clinton said.

David Cameron criticises those who 'aid and abet' Syria

The Prime Minister used his moment of fame at the United Nations to criticise those countries which had, as he put it, aided and abetted President Assad's reign of terror in Syria.

Though he didn't say it, the message was directed at Russia and China who have blocked more strident action against in the Security Council.

Outside the UN's headquarters in New York, there were protests against the organisation's apparent impotence in the face of violence.

ITV News' Washington Correspondent Robert Moore reports from New York:

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Tough response to 'uncivilised Zionists' claim at UN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the United Nations General Assembly Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

Israel's Prime Minister promised a tough response to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's claim that Iran was under constant threat of military action from "uncivilized Zionists".

Benjamin Netanyahu was among those critising the remarks made by Mr Ahmadinejad at the UN General Assembly in New York.

Iranian president: We are ready for dialogue with the US

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said today that his country is "ready for a dialogue [with the US] and a resolution of problems".

Speaking through an interpreter at a news conference in New York, he said: "We have never had any problems with the people of the United States."

He added that Iran was "capable of avoiding and neutralizing" any effort to sabotage its nuclear facilities.

Earlier this year, Iran resumed talks with the P5+1 group of world powers, which includes the US, about its secretive nuclear programme.

What will British aid achieve in Syria?

The announcement of an extra £8 million in British aid to Syria brings the total amount to date to £38.5 million.

According to the Department for International Development, it will help achieve the following aims:

  • Providing trauma support for 28,000 children
  • Assist UNICEF in reaching half a million refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries
  • Train 125 frontline workers to work directly with vulnerable children
  • Provide essential suppliesa further 2.5 million people as Syria's harsh winter approaches
  • Shoes, winter clothing, blankets, heaters, cookers and emergency shelters to help the 1.2 million people who have been made homeless
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