Weekday News Wrap: Wednesday, March 27, 2013
- At the Arab League summit yesterday, a member of the opposition to Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad took his vacant seat, a move that was met with applause from Arab heads of state.
- The BRICS have reached a deal approving a development bank that would rival Western-backed financial institutions.
- In his first appearance before the ICC yesterday, Congolese suspect Bosco Ntaganda has denied the charges against him of 10 counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, including murder, rape, pillage, using child soldiers and other crimes, though he will not need to enter his plea until his confirmation of charges hearing begins in September (ICC press release). A video of the proceedings from yesterday can be found here.
Vietnam alleges that China fired flares at a Vietnamese fishing boat in the South China Sea last week; China disputes any reports of damage to the ship and considers its actions appropriate and reasonable.
Italy’s Foreign Minister has resigned to protest his government’s decision to send two Italian marines back to India to stand trial over the killing Indian fishermen they mistook for pirates while protecting the Enrica Lexie.
Croatia will become the 28th member of the EU on July 1, the second former Yugoslav republic to join after Slovenia in 2004.
- UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon has recommended to the Security Council that the forces currently in Mali be converted into a UN peacekeeping operation and a separate force should be trained to confront Islamist threats in the area.
- Secretary Ban also urged members to ratify the Arms Trade Treaty.
- Over at Geographical Imaginations is a post about the Out of Sight, Out of Mind graphic on drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004 we mentioned yesterday.
- In other drone news, Quartz reports that they’re not just for the Taliban anymore: drones are now going to be used to protect endagered species of rhinoceros in India, a move becoming more common tool to help reserve administrators keep their eyes on their animals.