Weekday News Wrap: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
- A part of the Syrian peace plan, brokered at the behest of Kofi Annan, includes the deployment of 250 UN peacekeepers for a ceasefire monitoring mission, scheduled for arrival in Syria in the next 48 hours.
- Russia accuses the “Friends of Syria” group that met in Istanbul over the weekend of undermining the UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s peace plan.
- After bombs exploded over the weekend, killing 13 in the south of Thailand, police officials fear more attacks based in religious tensions between Buddhists and Muslims in the region.
- Yemini armed forces have claimed to have killed 43 al-Qaeda militants in the south of Yemen over the last two days.
- For the second time in less than a week, French police arrested radical Islamists in a series of pre-dawn raids.
- In a move welcomed by India, the US has posted a $10 million bounty for the mastermind behind the 2008 attacks in Mumbai which killed 188 people, as well as a $2 million bounty for one of his associates.
- ASEAN leaders would like to see an end to sanctions against Myanmar and applaud the recent successful democratic elections in the country.
- The US may send an ambassador to Myanmar soon.
- At their summit, ASEAN leaders were however unable to make progress in reaching a common position on the maritime disputes in the South China Sea.
- A first group of US Marines has arrived in northern Australia as the US expands its presence in the Asia-Pacific region.
- In a letter it wrote Tuesday, Human Rights Watch called on new Senegalese President Sall Mackey to monitor the human rights situation within his country.
- The military leaders in Mali will hold a National Convention on Thursday to decide on the future direction of the country.
- The Netherlands is asking Suriname, one of its former colonies, not to pass legislation that would grant immunity from prosecution to former dictator Bouterse and 24 of his associates for crimes committed during the dictatorship.
- Iran claims that it could strike the United States, were it attacked, in an increasing escalation of rhetoric surrounding Iran’s development of enriched uranium.
- Steven Cook, in Foreign Policy, posits that we should not be worried about a middle-east arms race, even if Iran were to develop nuclear capabilities.
- IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, has asked for US leadership in providing the IMF with more firepower to support troubled economies, arguing that it is in the US interest that Europe and the rest of the world are economically strong.