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On Syria, Churkin Telegraphs Veto, Araud Sad, Mood Out, Ban 16 Hours Behind

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, July 19, updated -- As Ambassadors filed into the Security Council Thursday morning for votes on Cyprus and then the big one on Syria, Vitaly Churkin and Bashar Ja'afari quipped, Gerard Araud stopped to express sadness, and Susan Rice smiled and shrugged but said nothing.

Churkin of Russia was asked if he would veto. He said, If you see all 15 hands up, the vote is on Cyprus, not Syria

Ja'afari simply said to the media throng, What a beautiful crowd, what's going on?

Araud stopped to say, with some drama, that he is "sad" and expects - "knows" - there will be two vetoes.

US Ambassador Susan Rice was asked the same question but shrugged, with a smile that looked wry -- unlike Wednesday afternoon's grim faced entrance to a meeting with Araud and the UK's Mark Lyall Grant.

Thursday morning numerous journalists were thrown off by an e-mail from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson's office, that Ban took note of the Security Council's decision to delay. Since the decision was made 16 hours earlier, some thought Ban was alerting to a new delay. But now: simple several news cycles behind.

In Damascus General Robert Mood held his "last" press conference, confirming he is leaving as Inner City Press first reported on June 29. A day of transitions. Watch this site.

Update of 10:50 am -- the UK tabled resolution drew vetoes from Russia and China, and abstentions from Pakistan and South Africa. Story soon.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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