Kerry: No START vote before elections
The Senate should put off its final vote on a landmark nuclear arms control treaty until after the November midterm elections, Sen. John Kerry said Tuesday.
“I think that to push it in the next week or two would be a mistake, given the election,” said Mr. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which was set to vote on the pact on Thursday.
“Let’s just get it out of the committee and hopefully set it up to do without any politics, without any election atmospherics, as a matter of national security when we come back [after the elections.]”
Mr. Kerry warned colleagues reluctant to back the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) that Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, is watching how U.S. lawmakers handle ratification of the accord.
Ratification requires 67 votes in the Senate. Democrats and their two independent allies hold 59 seats, meaning they cannot approve START without Republican support.
The committee’s top Republican, Sen. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana, worked during a six-week August break to craft a resolution addressing the party’s main concerns — chiefly worries about the fate of U.S. missile defense programs and plans for modernizing the existing U.S. arsenal.
Forces told to shoot curfew breakers
SRINAGAR | Indian police patrolled the streets of Kashmir on Tuesday, threatening to shoot anyone defying a round-the-clock curfew a day after 19 people died in clashes between troops and protesters in the disputed region.
Still, hundreds of anti-India demonstrators took to the streets of the region’s main city of Srinagar and half a dozen other places in the region. Government forces responded by firing live ammunition and tear gas to disperse them, police said. At least 14 people were wounded, according to police and a resident.
Billions in suspected Mafia goods seized
ROME | Italy’s top security official says police have seized a record $1.9 billion from a Sicilian businessman suspected of Mafia association.