By DAVID ESPO and JULIE PACE, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama said in a nationally televised address Tuesday night that recent diplomatic steps offer "the potential to remove the threat of chemical weapons" inside Syria without the use of force, but he also insisted the U.S. military will keep the pressure on President Bashar Assad "and be ready to respond" if other measures fail.
Speaking from the East Room of the White House, Obama said he had asked congressional leaders to postpone a vote on legislation he has been seeking to authorize the use of military force against Syria.
Acknowledging the weariness the nation feels after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, Obama said, "America is not the world's policeman."
And yet, he added, "When with modest effort and risk we can stop children from being gassed to death and thereby make our own children safer over the long run, I believe we should act. That's what makes America different. That's what makes us exceptional."
Officials say nearly 20 other people rescued from the back of the rig early Sunday were hospitalized in dire condition, many with extreme dehydration and heatstroke.
The president's son-in-law has attracted attention for a December meeting with a leading Russian diplomat.
Senate Republicans are now considering two versions of similar legislation, one that would repeal and replace, and another that would simply repeal "Obamacare" with a two-year delay for implementation to give the Senate more time to agree on a replacement.
A South African girl born with the AIDS virus has kept her infection suppressed for 8 1/2 years after stopping anti-HIV medicines.