Gulf Cooperation Council Summit

United States President Barack Obama, at the Gulf Cooperation Council Summit in Saudi Arabia, says the United States will continue to deter and confront aggression against Gulf Arab states; joins others in warning the fragile cease-fire in Syria is on the verge of collapse; pledges vigilance about Iran's destabilizing activities in the Middle East; wants Gulf allies to offer more democratic reforms and improve human rights; and, says the U.S. and its Gulf partners should wait to see whether Iraq can resolve its political crisis before committing more financial aid which is impeding the fight against ISIL.


At least 24 people are killed, 136 others injured, and eight workers still missing from yesterday's blast at the major Clorados 3 petrochemical plant of Petroquimica Mexicana de Vinilo. Nineteen people remain hospitalized, with 13 in serious condition. The plant is run by Mexichem under agreement with Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), the national petrochemical company, in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico, on the country's southern Gulf of Mexico coast. Pemex had an earlier fire at the same facility in February 2016 that killed one worker; also that month, an offshore Pemex Gulf platform fire killed two and injured eight.