Weekday News Wrap: Friday, April 6, 2012
- The Tuareg separatists in Mali have ended their military operations. In response, a mediator claims that economic and diplomatic sanctions imposed by ECOWAS countries could soon be lifted. Foreign Policy has a context piece outlining how the war in terror created the current “Mess in Mali.” Additionally, there have been calls for independence for the Azawad region. FP looks at whether it could gain international recognition.
- In other secessionist news, Scotland’s first minister, Alex Salmond, lays out plans for a late-2014 independence referendum. Whether that is possible is perhaps another question. And what repercussions it may have for other British ties, such as Australia, may hang in the balance.
- Honduras has requested WTO consultations with Australia over the latter’s plain packaging requirements for tobacco and tobacco products.
- Malawi’s 78-year-old President Bingu wa Mutharika has died of a heart attack.
- Despite the UN’s increasing pressure on Syrian officials to put an end to the violence, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon reports a worsening of the conflict.
- Defense lawyers at the ICC have reported that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of late Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi, has been brutally mistreated in the Libyan prison where he currently is being held, stepping up pressure to extradite him to The Hague.
- Former German Foreign Minister, Joschka Fischer, has a column on Project Syndicate about nuclear talks with Iran.
- Brazil calls on BRICS nations to rally around one candidate for the World Bank presidency.
- China calls on all nations to lift sanctions on Myanmar and the US has announced it will ease some sanctions as a result of new democratic reforms.
- Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister says that after NATO troops leave the country in 2014, Afghanistan will not be used as a launch pad for US drones.
- Two Tunisians have been jailed for seven years after posting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook, fueling allegations that new leaders are placing a chokehold on free speech.
- Invisible Children has released its follow-up video to the viral Kony 2012 sensation: Kony 2012 Part II: Beyond Famous.
- Ahead of the Easter weekend, the Pope issued a statement reaffirming the ban on female priests in the Catholic Church and underscoring that disobedience from clerics on such issues as female ordination or celibacy within the Church would not be tolerated.