What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear: The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders, by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard it is inexcusable, and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.

Hagel: U.S. ready to strike Syria immediately if Obama orders action

Palestinian negotiators have cancelled a planned round of peace talks with Israel in protest against a raid on a refugee camp in which Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians, including a UN worker. US State Department said they have no information about that cancellation and that “is essential for the negotiations to go forward”.