BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan (AP) — Russia's President Vladimir Putin says that Syria's move to join an international convention banning chemical weapons has proven its good faith.
Speaking at a summit of an international security grouping dominated by Russia and China, Putin said Friday the move showed that Syria has "serious intentions to embark on that path."
Syria made a formal bid Thursday to join the Chemical Weapons Convention. The U.N. welcomed the move, but said that it could take 30 days for Syria to become a member.
Russia proposed on Monday that Syria surrenders control over its chemical weapons to the international community for its eventual dismantling to avoid a U.S. military strike, and Damascus quickly jumped at the offer. Top U.S. and Russian diplomats are holding talks in Geneva to discuss the plan's specifics.
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S Solicitor General Donald Verrilli says employer challenges to the birth control mandate in the Affordable Care Act will likely be decided in the Supreme Court term that begins next month.
Dozens of employers have said that providing contraceptive coverage would violate their religious beliefs.
In a panel discussion Thursday, Verrilli predicted that the case could hinge on the justices' interpretation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. He said the federal law declares that "government shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion unless the government has a compelling interest, and the burden imposed is the least restrictive means of achieving that interest."
Verilli says at issue is whether corporations have religious rights, whether the burden on them is substantial, whether government has a compelling interest in making contraceptives available, and whether the mandate is the least restrictive means of doing so.
Lower courts have issued conflicting rulings, with some blocking enforcement of the mandate until the issues are decided.
The next phase of work on the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge will require a heavily traveled interstate to be shut down for more than a week.
At 9 p.m. Friday, Illinois transportation crews plan to close eastbound I-64 from the I-55/70 split to 18th Street. It's expected to remain closed until 9 a.m. on Monday, September 23rd.
IDOT officials say the closure is necessary so that crews can build ramps to the new bridge, and drivers should expect long delays until the work is done.
The primary detour is eastbound on I-55/70 to I-255 south, which will add five-to-ten minutes during off-peak hours. Drivers who can avoid the area over the next nine days are advised to do so.
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Tyler Thornburg threw six solid innings and Sean Halton homered to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over St. Louis 5-3 on Thursday night, snapping the Cardinals' five-game winning streak.
St. Louis fell into a tie with Pittsburgh for the top spot in the NL Central. Both teams are 85-61 with 16 games remaining. The idle Cincinnati Reds are 2 1/2 back.
Milwaukee broke a three-game losing streak against St. Louis and beat the Cardinals for only the fourth time in 16 meetings this season.
The Cardinals are 5-1 on their nine-game homestand.
Thornburg (2-1), making his eighth career start, gave up two runs and three hits. He spent most of the season with Triple-A Nashville, going 0-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 15 starts.
Thornburg struck out six and walked two. He has allowed two runs or fewer and gone six innings in all five major league starts this season.
Jim Henderson earned his 25th save in 29 opportunities.
Halton, who had three RBIs, hit a two-run homer off Joe Kelly (8-4) in the fourth to put the Brewers up 4-0. Halton also had a run-scoring single in the second.
Kelly allowed four runs, three earned, on seven hits in five innings. He won his previous five starts, and the Cardinals had won his last eight.
Matt Adams hit a two-out solo homer in the ninth, his 13th of the season.
The Brewers scored single runs in each of the first two innings. Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy singled in the first, and Gennett came around on a groundout by Aramis Ramirez.
The Cardinals pulled to 4-2 in the fourth on a run-scoring double by Matt Holliday and a sacrifice fly by David Freese. They also put two on with one out in the sixth, but Thornburg retired Carlos Beltran and Freese to end the threat.
Norichika Aoki tripled in Yuniesky Betancourt in the ninth.
NOTES: St. Louis RHP Trevor Rosenthal missed the game. His wife, Lindsey, was in labor awaiting their first child. ... Cardinals C Yadier Molina missed his second successive game due to an illness to his mother, Gladys. General manager John Mozeliak said Molina could be back Friday. ... St. Louis 1B Allen Craig is making progress with his injured left foot. "We're still optimistic he'll play again," Mozeliak said. "He's feeling a lot better. It's one of those things where you're just going to have to let some time progress." Craig sustained a left mid-foot strain on Sept. 4. ... The Brewers begin a 10-game homestand Friday against Cincinnati. Kyle Lohse (9-9, 3.59 ERA) will face Reds RHP Mat Latos (14-5, 3.02) in the opener of a three-game series. ... St. Louis ends its homestand with three games against Seattle beginning Friday. Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (16-9, 3.03) faces Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.97).