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Different attitudes of US, UK on Russian involvement in Syria

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

London: Talks held between British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry, displayed different attitudes of UK and the US towards Russia’s involvement in the Syria crisis.

Photo credit: independent.co.uk
Photo credit: independent.co.uk

After the meeting at Hammond’s official residence on Saturday, Kerry said defence secretaries of the US and Russia had held extensive talks via telephone on the fight against the IS, reported Xinhua news agency.

Kerry, who is on his three-day visit to Britain, said, “would we welcome Russian help in going against IS? Obviously. We have talked about it for some period of time.”

“But the other part of the equation is Assad (President of Syria) and how you resolve the fact that he is a magnet for foreign fighters to come to the region,” he added.

The British government had been clear that if it is believed airstrikes in Syria were necessary it would go back to parliament for a vote, Hammond said.

“We keep that situation under continuous review and we will continue to talk to our allies about the military situation in the round,” he said.

Hammond said the situation in Syria becomes more complicated because of the Russian engagement.

“I think we need to discuss this as part of a much bigger problem: the migration pressures, the humanitarian crisis in Syria as well as the need to defeat IS,” he added.

Kerry described Russia’s new focus on fighting IS militants as an opportunity to push toward a political settlement and said the “root cause” of the current migrant crisis in Europe was the violence in Syria.

He said the US is prepared to negotiate, but have not known if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia were prepared to a negotiation.

The US has called for Assad to go, but on Saturday Kerry reaffirmed the US position that this removal “does not have to be on day one or month one… There is a process by which all the parties have to come together to reach an understanding of how this can best be achieved,” according to BBC.

He said the talks in London laid the groundwork for forthcoming meetings at the UN over Syria. He will leave for Berlin on Sunday.

With inputs from IANS

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More than 3.3 Million Women in US had Unwanted and Forced First Sexual Intercourse Experience

The #MeToo movement has highlighted how frequently women experience sexual violence

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Women, US, Sexual Intercourse
The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, estimates that one in 16 US women had an unwanted first sexual intercourse experience that was physically forced or coerced. Pixabay

More than 3.3 million women in the US had unwanted and forced first sexual intercourse experience, a new study suggests.

The study, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, estimates that one in 16 US women had an unwanted first sexual intercourse experience that was physically forced or coerced.

The #MeToo movement has highlighted how frequently women experience sexual violence. However, no recent studies have assessed the prevalence of forced sex during girls’ and women’s first sexual encounter or its health consequences.

In an analysis of nationally representative survey data of 13,310 women, 6.5 per cent of the respondents reported a forced first sexual intercourse encounter, which is equivalent to more than 3.3 million women between the ages of 18 and 44.

Women, US, Sexual Intercourse
More than 3.3 million women in the US had unwanted and forced first sexual intercourse experience, a new study suggests. Pixabay

The average age for women at the time of the forced encounter was 15-and-a-half compared with 17-and-a-half for those reporting a voluntary first sexual intercourse experience, according to researchers from Harvard University in the US.

The average age of the assailant at a first forced sexual intercourse was 27 as compared with the 21 of the partner in a voluntary first sexual experience, the study said.

According to the survey, women with a forced first sexual intercourse experience were more likely to have an unwanted first pregnancy or abortion, as well as other gynaecological and general health problems.

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These findings could help doctors improve the medical care of women and girls and inform the development of public health policies aimed at reducing forced sexual initiation in the US, said the researchers. (IANS)