Russia, China block Syria sanctions

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Tuesday cast its seventh veto to protect the Syrian government from United Nations Security Council action, blocking a bid by Western powers to impose sanctions over accusations of chemical weapons attacks during the six-year Syrian conflict. China backed Russia and cast its sixth veto on Syria. Russia had said the vote on the resolution, drafted by France and Britain, would harm UN-led peace talks between the warring Syrian parties in Geneva, which began last week. — Reuters