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By Samia Nakhoul and Louis Charbonneau NEW YORK (Reuters) - Syria's envoy to the United Nations says it's time for the United States and other Western powers to accept that President Bashar al-Assad is here to stay, and to abandon what he suggested was a failed strategy of trying to split the Middle East into sectarian enclaves. Speaking to Reuters on the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Syrian war, Assad's long-serving U.N. ambassador Bashar Ja'afari said his president was ready to work with the United States and others to combat terrorism in the Middle East. "President Assad can deliver because he is a strong president. Britain and France have rejected calls to restore ties with the Assad government. U.S. officials say there is no shift in their policy regarding Assad, even as their focus is fighting Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot which is also an enemy of Damascus. "We have been open for cooperation (with the U.S.)," Ja’afari said.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — The Supreme Court late Friday approved an investigation of dozens of top politicians, including a former president and leaders of congress, for alleged connections to what prosecutors call the biggest graft scheme ever uncovered in Brazil.