Weekday News Wrap: Wednesday, March 28, 2012

by An Hertogen

  • Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has reportedly accepted Kofi Annan’s six points peace plan, but the US Ambassador to Syria expressed skepticism that Assad’s words would translate into deeds.
  • Navi Pillay has told the BBC that the Syrian forces are targeting children.
  • UN estimates put the civilian death toll in Syria at over 9000.
  • Iran announces that it will hold nuclear talks with the P5 and Germany on April 13, possibly in Istanbul, although the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Catherine Ashton, and the IAEA said up to Tuesday that no date or venue had yet been agreed.
  • South Sudan claims that Khartoum has bombed the border regions, and Khartoum claims to have recaptured oil fields.
  • ECOWAS has suspended Mali and will send a military delegation to Bamako to urge the coup leaders to return the country to democratic rule.
  • Ireland will hold a referendum on the EU Fiscal Treaty on 31 May.
  • The Home Affairs and Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament agreed to sharing Passenger Name Records with the US Department of Homeland Security. Members reported that they felt pressured to vote in favour to avoid a suspension of visa-free travel to the US. The European Parliament will vote on the measure on 19 April.
  • BRICS’ countries are reportedly considering the creation of their own development bank to rival the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.
  • Meanwhile, the campaign for the new World Bank president continues in full swing. Dr. Okonko-Iweale’s vision for the World Bank is discussed here, Jose Antonio Ocampo expects to receive the support of the Latin American and Caribbean nations and former candidate Prof. Sachs explains why he supports Jim Kim’s candidacy.
  • The WTO is holding a two day seminar on Exchange Rates and Trade.

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