The good news: Syria's Asaad regime continues to hit deadlines for destroying their chemical weapons stockpile.
Syria has destroyed all its declared chemical weapons mixing, filling and production facilities, and all of the chemical weapons at inspected sites have been placed under seal, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Thursday.
The watchdog body's announcement of the facilities' destruction means that the first deadline has been met in an ambitious program to eliminate the country's entire chemical weapons stockpile by the middle of next year.
The joint United Nations-OPCW mission visited 21 out of 23 sites, the OPCW statement said, and 39 of the 41 facilities at those sites.
The remaining two sites were too dangerous for the inspectors to go to, it said, but Syria had declared those sites as abandoned. The chemical weapons equipment there was moved to other sites, which were inspected.
The OPCW said it was "now satisfied that it has verified -- and seen destroyed -- all of Syria's declared critical production and mixing/filling equipment."
The bad news is the same regime is now blockading and starving out rebel-controlled areas of the country.
The Syrian government has been blocking food and medicine from entering and people from leaving besieged areas, in what one security official calls "starvation until submission campaign", according to a Reuters report.
Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have used partial sieges to root out rebel forces from residential areas during the civil war. But a recent tightening of blockades around areas near the capital Damascus is causing starvation and death, residents and medical staff told the news agency.
Food and medicine, which could be used by the warring parties, are rarely allowed to enter besieged areas and the movement of civilians in and out is restricted, Reuters said on Wednesday.
The UN says that more than one million Syrians remain trapped in areas where aid deliveries have stalled.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report last month that half of those people are in rural Damascus and about 310,000 people more trapped in Homs, a province in central Syria.
So yes, the Assad regime is still pretty scumtastic.