Weekday News Wrap: Monday, April 16, 2012
- Former Argentine dictator Jorge Rafael Videla has admitted for the first time that the country’s brutal 1976-1983 dictatorship “disappeared” leftist opponents and said babies were kidnapped from their parents.
- A team of six UN observers has gone to Syria, where despite both sides agreeing to a truce, violence is still raging.
- South Sudan has accused Sudan of indiscriminate bombing in a dispute over who controls Heglig, an oil-rich town on the disputed border between the two countries. Sudan denies any involvement. Egypt is pushing for an end to the confrontation.
- Israel has moved to block a “fly in” by detaining four Welcome to Palestine protesters at the Tel Aviv airport after their flight from Paris. Some 1,200 names are on the list of those barred from entry into Israel.
- Gulf States plan to meet next week on a dispute between Iran and the United Arab Emirates regarding Abu Musa and two other islands near the Strait of Hormuz, which both countries claim to own.
- Four men accused of plotting an attack against the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten for publishing a cartoon drawing of the Prophet Mohammed have gone on trial in Denmark.
- U.S. officials have stated their plans to continue CIA drone strikes in Pakistan, setting up potential diplomatic tensions between the two countries as Pakistan has demanded an end to the covert operations.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has called for a restoration of order in Guinea-Bissau after a military coup was staged last week.
- Embarrassed by last week’s rocket crash, North Korea may proceed with a nuclear test. The US is watching closely to see what the next move may be.
- Bolivian President Evo Morales has bowed to pressure and cancelled his plans to build a highway that would have cut through the Amazon, linking Brazilian ports with those in Chile and Peru.
- A major offensive by the Taliban, which included attacks against various Western embassies in Kabul, was quelled by the Afghan security forces. The EU’s High Representative on foreign affairs and security policy has condemned the attacks.
- On Friday, the Dutch Supreme Court upheld earlier rulings granting the United Nations immunity from prosecution in a case lodged by Mothers of Srebrenica.
- The US and the Philippines have started their annual military exercises, involving 7000 troops, close to the disputes South China Sea waters.
- Australia has decided to lift financial sanctions and travel bans against more than 200 officials in Myanmar.
- Hearings in the tobacco giants’ High Court case challenging the legality of Australia’s plain packaging legislation will start tomorrow.
- In a move welcomed by the US and the IMF, China widened the trading band of the Yuan. On the first day of trading in this broader band, the Yuan however closed lower.
- An important talking point behind the scenes at the Summit of the Americas were the Argentinian and Brazilian responses to the economic crisis and the question whether these amount to increasing protectionism.