The French government pledged military support to help in stopping the descent of the war-torn Central African Republic after UN observers warned that the country was slowly descending into chaos as violence, executions and widespread rapes circulated in the country.
The CAR’s Prime Minister Nicolas Tiangaye said on Monday that French support may consist of an additional 800 troops. Currently, there are 410 French soldiers in the CAR’s capital Bangui.
Currently, the CAR is struggling against coups and uprisings, which date back from 1960 and still exist on the present day as a rebel group called Seleka forced the former CAR President Francois Bozize away from office in March. He was replaced with a Muslim rebel leader Michael Djotodia. This incident had the transitional Government lose control of a 4.5 million population.
According to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, it is highly likely that the violence from Central Africa could spread to neighbouring countries if it is not stopped at once.
Fighting still continues between former Muslim rebels and militia groups to protect Christian communities that make up 80% of the population. However, skirmishes between Muslims and Christians in the area continue despite French military presence.
A Syrian rebel attack triggers a widespread power outage in the country yet the disarmament of Syrian regime chemical weapons continues. The Syrian government hands over a detailed plan for destroying the chemical arsenal Thursday according to the United Nations.
Rebels and regime forces continue battle across the country despite disarmament of chemical weapons as agreed by Syria to the UN deal. The rebels had struck a pipeline that caused blackouts across the country.
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Damascus power outages, along with Aleppo and Homs continued. According to the group, it was most likely a large -scale operation planned by the Syrian rebels.
Diplomatic efforts in resolving the Syrian crisis continues to look dim as the Friends of Syria and Arab nations fail to persuade both Syrian opposition and regime to participate in the talks.
The declaration about the status of Syria’s chemical arsenal will be reported in the next 24 hours according to the UN weapons inspection team.
The US-Russia brokered treaty indicated that no outside interference will be involved in the Syrian conflict once Syria had disarmed its chemical arsenal. It had submitted its list of chemical weapons sites in Syria to the UN weapons inspection team. Around 18 out of 23 weapons sites had been disarmed today.
The Syrian opposition continues to divide deeper and deeper as 13 rebel groups have broken away from the Syrian National Coalition backed by western-countries. The 13 rebel groups include an al-Qaeda linked faction, reflecting a lack of solidarity in the Syrian National Coalition.
The rebel groups said that the Syrian National Coalition does not reflect their interests anymore. The rebel groups called on people to unite under a “clear Islamic framework”, which reflects the interests of the Al-Qaeda faction in Syria. According to the rebel groups, the only good government in Syria would only come from those who made sacrifices and fought battles inside the country, not those fighting outside.
They referred to the Syrian National Coalition being based on Turkey instead of inside Syria.
However, even the separatist rebels are divided amongst themselves. Many rebels blame the involvement of jihadists and the al-Qaeda for the reluctance of western support in the Syrian conflict. Islam extremists also tear away at the image of the Syrian rebel faction.
At the UN General Assembly, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan ask the United Nations to take action, their long-time problems with millions of Syrian refugees and are deeply disappointed with the community’s lack of action in the Syrian crisis.
The US had expressed its frustration for the UN’s inaction to resolve the crisis in Syria and other western countries find a similar view as many called for reforms. The UN was considered “antique” by some political experts, namely because it falls short on fulfilling its role as the “guardian” of the world.
The G20 had been split to two sides during the meeting. Russia and China will not see the United States lead a military strike that would probably alter the situation in the Middle East. The United States and France are willing to make a strike to prevent a great catastrophe in Syria.
The European Union had endorsed support for the military strike, but had told the US and other supporting countries to go by UN procedure. A strong but non-violent approach was necessary in any military strike.
Iraq, a country that a US-led military strike had also forged, said that it would also be harmed should the strike take place. While Iraq will remain neutral on any side of the conflict, Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said that Syria’s neighbours would also be involved in the attack. Unresolved sectarian conflicts may be re-opened by the attack.
Iraqi Shiite volunteers have increased in number volunteering to fight for the Syrian regime and a regionwide conflict could start if the US will finally conduct its attack.
An iconic building, known as the War Office, where British leaders made plans during the two world wars and the Cold War, is being put up for sale by the government. This is the same building in which the likes of Winston Churchill and David Lloyd-George once had offices. Ministers hope the Whitehall building, with its great historic value, will sell for more than £100m. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond said civil servants would move to the main Ministry of Defence (MoD) building, and added that having defence staff under one roof would save £8m a year.
The War Office had its first brick laid in 1901 and, by the buildings completion, the Edwardian Baroque building had used 25 million bricks and many thousands of tonnes of Portland and York stone. The roof of the historic building has been host to grand sculptures symbolising Peace and War, as well as Truth and Justice – and Victory. In April 1910, as part of a parliamentary answer, the full cost of the “new” War Office was calculated as over £1.2m. There are many famous secretaries of state for war who worked there in its early years, including Lord Haldane, Lord Kitchener and Winston Churchill, while Lawrence of Arabia was also employed there to create maps of the Sinai region based on his earlier travels to the area.
A former civil servant in his younger days posted to the War Office in 1940 remembered being told there had been friction between the armed forces and civil servants in the same building. The War Office had been hit by German bombs during the Second World War several times, killing one person, but the building remained relatively unscathed. The War Office was refurbished in the mid-1980s, and was duly reopened in 1992, as the new headquarters of the defence intelligence staffs. The civil servants currently stationed in the building will move across the road to the MoD’s main building next year, after which the historic building will be sold.
With over 1,000 rooms, 2.5 miles of corridors and a central London location, it will most likely attract interest from prominent property developers and big hotel chains, who are no strangers to buying government property that’s being sold off as the coalition attempts to cut costs. The MoD is also planning to sell the abandoned Brompton Road Tube station, which, during World War II, was used as a command bunker for anti-aircraft defences.
Egypt’s violence continues to erupt as 72 protesters from different sides have died on Saturday. Muslim Brotherhood supporters and pro-Morsy protesters died during a clash in Cairo. The US advises the Interim government leaders and Egyptian military to practice restraint and respect the right of peaceful assembly and freedom of expression.
The Muslim Brotherhood said that people supporting Morsy, including their political party, will not stop until they have the righteous and the first democratically-elected president of Egypt back in his position. They also said that the new government will not stop until they bring back the corruption and violence during the time of Hosni Mubarak.
The general public is divided between the rival groups. Some believe that the military’s ousting of President Morsy was a coup and that authorities have the power to prove their innocence easily in public. Some believe that pro-Morsy protesters were terrorists and that these supporters carried out the killings. Some also support the Egyptian military’s request to provide security and protection in dealing with violent proests.
The United States is alarmed by Egypt’s current political instability. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Egypt was in a pivotal moment in its history. The US advises Egypt to avoid politicized arrests and imprisonment and take measures to avoid bloodshed and violence in the country.
British Prime Minister David Cameron renewed his vow to rid the United Kingdom’s data highways of child pornography and sexually-violent media. He said that child pornography continues to rise in the UK. Simulated sexual violence, such as rape or abusive activities, in mainstream pornography will also be filtered.
Prime Minister Cameron also urges search engine giant Google to remove searches about child abuse and warn people about the nature of the media they are about to access. Google is also asked to give specialist police enough powers to allow them to close the Internet to paedophiles and paedophilic material
However, observers say that the UK’s powers are limited because most child and sexually-violent pornography is hosted abroad. Open Rights Organisation representative Jim Killock said that the UK could only enforce its laws on its land and the foreign-hosted media could only be filtered once it reaches the UK’s dataways.
Sexually-violent pornography, or “Extreme Pornography” is identified by government as scenes of simulated rape, violence, physical abuse and unnatural fetishes. The government pledges to outlaw these forms of media.
Prime Minister Cameron plans to have Internet Service Providers ask their clients whether they would like to maintain access to online pornography, to which the Internet service provider’s filters would work for the household.
Google said that it has a zero-tolerance measure against child pornography online and immediately blocks or removes a website with such content. Microblogging and social media network Twitter plans to make a tagging system that would ban hosting photos of pornographic nature.
Boston marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev pleads not guilty for using a weapon of mass destruction, which US authorities have charged against him on Wednesday in a Boston federal courthouse. He is accused of carrying out a twin bombing with his brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev on April 15 at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.
Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed in a standoff. He had also killed a police officer with a handgun, stolen a car and engaged in the firefight with authorities where he was killed.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s sentences carry life in prison to the death penalty. He has 30 charges filed against him. His overall demeanor during the arraignment was calm. He was clean shaven and still has his curly dark hair from his earlier photos. He reacted defiant as he was hearing the brief.
Members of the public criticized Tsarnaev’s look that showed no remorse and his plea of not guilty.
The prosecution said that the evidence against Tsarnaev is strong enough to give him a very severe sentence.
The annual Boston Marathon had scores of people killed by the attack of the brothers. Analysts said that the Marathon was a reminder of the country’s vulnerability to extremist attacks and the laxness the US’ security is in reality.
In Yangon, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel peace prize winner for her democratic leadership at the National League for Democracy, might fall short on her promise to become Myanmar’s next president. Even if she was swept into parliament during her efforts in April 2012 with the NLD, a military-drafted constitution might exclude her from going into office.
Suu Kyi expressed her wish to become president at the World Economic Forum in the Naypytiaw capital on June 6. However, the new challenges are the biggest ones the former political prisoner turned democratic figurehead must face. She must convince the military parliament to amend the constitution to give her the right to run as president.
However, stakes are still high even if the military parliament agrees to amend the constitution. She could face a voter backlash and the opposition between Myanmar’s Buddhists and minority Muslims might make the political condition of her campaign unstable because of her rare public expressions for support for the Muslims.
A constitutional amendment would need to merit 75% of support from the parliament, which is not an easy task because military leaders dominate the parliament seats.
Suu Kyi, even as a Nobel peace prize winner, is condemned by different human rights groups. The Human Rights Watch in New York had condemned her for not using her moral authority to defend the Rohingya because she did not want to upset the Buddhist majority.
Suu Kyi said that she didn’t want to “take sides” during the conflict.
Suu Kyi is likely to revolutionize Myanmar’s constitution, but international pressure from foreign investors has depended heavily on the military parliament that ensured stability, which might affect her chances.
Russian President Vladimir Putin denies that he stole a Super Bowl ring. His spokesperson said that the Super Bowl ring came from New England Patriot’s owner Robert Kraft. Both parties established the fact that the ring, with its 124 diamonds, had gone through many hands during Kraft’s visit in St. Petersburg Russia in 2005.
Kraft said that he showed the man the ring and the President put it on. When he asked for the ring back, the president was surrounded by three KGB officers and walked out of the room. Robert Kraft did not specify that Putin stole the ring, but he did express he wanted his ring back from the President.
The White House called him during 2005 to tell him that it is in the best interest of the US and Russian relations to say that the ring was a gift to Putin, to which he played along.
Dmitry Peskov, the official spokesperson of the president, said that he was standing 20 centimters away from Kraft and Putin and saw that Kraft gave the ring as a gift. Peskov said that what Kraft demanded was strange and uncalled for.
Super Bowl rings fetch around $230,000 and even more when they are auctioned. 1991Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor sold his ring in 2012 for the same amount during an auction.