Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post

Today’s Top World News from The Washington Post

-Kerry: U.N. will enforce deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons- Secretary of State John F. Kerry insisted on Monday that a deal to rid Syria of chemical weapons will be enforced by the United Nations. The United States, Britain and France agree that “we will not tolerate avoidance or anything less than full compliance,” Kerry said. The deal, negotiated by the United States and Russia, says the first international inspection of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile is set for November, with destruction to begin next year. Until last week, Syria had denied having any chemical weapons, reports Anne Gearan.


-During talks on Syria’s chemical weapons, fighting on the ground escalated- As negotiations to avert a U.S. strike against Syria ramped up last week, so, too, did the action on the ground. Warplanes dropped bombs over far-flung Syrian towns that hadn’t seen airstrikes in weeks, government forces went on the attack in the hotly contested suburbs of Damascus, rebels launched an offensive in the south, and a historic Christian town changed hands at least four times. At the close of a week hailed in Moscow and Washington as a triumph of diplomacy over war, more than 1,000 people died in the fighting in Syria, the latest casualties in a conflict that has killed more than 100,000 people and can be expected to claim many more, reports Liz Sly.


-At least 24 die in Afghanistan mine collapse- At least 24 Afghan miners were killed Saturday when a coal mine collapsed in northern Afghanistan, according to local officials. The miners had been complaining about dangerous working conditions on the morning of the incident, said Sediq Azizi, a spokesman for the governor of Samangan province, where the mine is located. The mine’s supervisor did not heed the workers’ concerns, Azizi said, and fled after the men were killed. The incident is a cautionary tale in a country that soon expects to increase its mining operations exponentially, filling a financial the gap that will be left when foreign troops withdraw from Afghanistan. Chinese, Indian and Canadian companies all have invested in extracting the country’s mineral wealth, reports Kevin Sieff.



-Obama and Boehner both enter upcoming domestic debates with a weakened hand- The aborted Capitol Hill debate on military action against Syria put President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner in a rare place — on the same side. But each found himself sharply at odds with lawmakers of his own party. As Washington turns its attention to critical domestic issues this week, the turbulent political environment facing the nation’s leaders was put in sharp relief Sunday when opposition by Democratic lawmakers cost Obama his preferred candidate for chairman of the Federal Reserve, former economic adviser Lawrence H. Summers. Summers’s forced withdrawal — an unprecedented insult to the president by members of his own party — was just the latest reminder of how both Obama and Boehner are facing questions about the strength of their leadership and whether they can avert a government shutdown or debt default that could significantly harm the economy, report Zachary A. Goldfarb and Paul Kane.


-At Iowa steak fry, Biden defends Obama, stokes speculation about 2016 candidacy- Iowa Democrats have often looked to Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry for a peek into the future of the party. On Sunday, Vice President Biden made clear he believes its future should be an extension of its present. Biden, flirting with a third try at the presidency in 2016, delivered a muscular and impassioned defense of the policies and priorities of President Obama’s administration and offered a marker by which he said they should be judged, report Philip Rucker and Dan Balz.


-Cuccinelli’s strong stands against illegal immigration could become problematic in Va.- When Sen. Marco Rubio joins Ken Cuccinelli II at a Richmond fundraiser Monday, the duo together will embody the two sides of one of the GOP’s chief challenges — immigration reform — as the party tries to win back purple states where Barack Obama stitched together a coalition of minorities and women in back-to-back national elections. Rubio is one in a succession of GOP stars coming to Virginia to help Cuccinelli energize his campaign for governor against Democrat Terry McAuliffe. But Rubio’s visit does something else, too: It brings attention to the polar-opposite ways in which the two Republicans have struggled over the question of what do to about the estimated 11 million people in the country illegally, reports David Nakamura.


-Larry Summers withdraws name from Fed consideration- Lawrence H. Summers, the former Treasury secretary and senior White House economic adviser, has withdrawn as a candidate for Federal Reserve chairman in a startling development that raises urgent questions about who will lead the central bank when Chairman Ben S. Bernanke steps down in four months. Summers withdrew after an intense uproar among liberal Democrats, women’s groups and other advocacy organizations against his potential nomination — a highly unusual assault on the candidate who President Obama favored for the job, report Zachary A. Goldfarb and Ylan Q. Mui.

-Filmmaker bet on financial crisis, used profit to make documentary about Federal Reserve- And then there was Jim Bruce, surfing in Hanalei Bay in Hawaii with his family and friends. The L.A.-based filmmaker had just wrapped up work on the campy horror flick “Freddie vs. Jason.” But something much more frightening had taken hold of his imagination. CDOs, better known as collateralized debt obligations, were becoming a popular way for financial institutions to shift risk off their books as they ramped up lending to a new class of subprime borrowers. Bruce was worried it was all a sham, that instead of reducing risk, these complex new instruments would actually magnify it, helping to fuel a new bubble that could bring down the entire economy. In other words, a real buzzkill at a beach party in Hawaii. “No one wants to listen,” Bruce said. “I know what it is to sort of be that voice,” reports Ylan Q. Mui.


-Capital Business: As demand for big data analysts grows, schools rush to graduate students with necessary skills- Two or three of the students recently completed undergraduate degrees in finance or economics. Others hail from backgrounds in information technology or marketing. One even holds a doctorate in astrophysics. But each of the 18 students who enrolled in the inaugural class of George Washington University’s master’s in business analytics this semester were drawn back into the classroom by one common interest: big data. Companies are collecting data faster and in greater volumes than ever before, giving executives and managers measurable insights into business performance that can, in turn, be used to make smarter decisions. As a result, the need for data scientists and analysts has never been higher, reports Steven Overly.


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