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Turkey accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Wednesday of exploiting delays to planned U.S. and Russian-backed peace talks by stepping up attacks on the opposition and said the conference must take place quickly if it was to be of use. Russia, which strongly backs Assad, and the United States announced in May they would try to bring Syria's government and opposition together at the so-called Geneva 2 peace talks, but a date has so far proved elusive.
A small, bipartisan group of senators are seeking legislation to force President Barack Obama to seek permission from Congress to keep any U.S. troops in Afghanistan past the end of 2014. Following a report by NBC News on Tuesday detailing a draft security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan, which envisions continued U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan following the conclusion of combat operations, Sen. Jeff Merkley and three other senators have offered an amendment to an annual defense spending bill to limit Obama's authority.
Florida Republican Trey Radel pleaded guilty to purchasing cocaine in Washington last month. According to prosecutors, authorities learned this fall the freshman Congressman had bought cocaine several times for personal use.