Kosovo independence not illegal, says UN court
Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 was not illegal under international law, top UN judge say.
The BBC 22 July 2010
The International Court of Justice was ruling on Serbia’s claim that the secession violated its territorial integrity.
The ICJ’s non-binding ruling may help Kosovo gain wider recognition.
The US and many EU countries support Kosovo’s independence; Russia is strongly opposed to it.
Q&A: Kosovo’s future
How Yugoslavia vanished from maps
Addressing the court in The Hague, ICJ president Hisashi Owada said international law “contains no applicable prohibition” of Kosovo’s declaration of independence.
G.M., eclipsed at home, soars to top in China
by David Barboza and Nick Bunkley
SHANGHAI – A decade ago, this city had five car dealerships selling Buicks, the top-selling General Motors brand in China. Today it has 27.
And the crowds of shoppers that fill many of them are young, ready to pay cash and not inclined to haggle over the sticker price.
As G.M. prepares a public stock offering later this year, China is emerging as a crucial piece of its appeal to potential investors – and a surprising down payment of sorts for American taxpayers, who would begin shrinking their 61 percent equity stake in the company.
UN in fresh bid to salvage international deal on climate change
Campaigners welcome plans to amend the way Kyoto protocol resolutions are passed
The Guardian, Thursday 22 July 2010
Climate change campaigners yesterday welcomed UN plans to amend the way changes to the Kyoto protocol are made in an effort to salvage negotiations on a new international deal.
Under the plans, countries could be forced to accept decisions made by a majority of members. Currently, no resolution can be passed by the group without full agreement.
The UN’s suggestion shows its acceptance that, after two years of deadlock, there is little chance the body will reach a global deal to reduce greenhouse emissions and tackle global warming in November in Cancun, Mexico – the next time world leaders will meet to hammer out a follow-up to the Kyoto protocol.
Workers on Doomed Rig Voiced Concern About Safety
By IAN URBINA
Published: July 21, 2010
WASHINGTON – A confidential survey of workers on the Deepwater Horizon in the weeks before the oil rig exploded showed that many of them were concerned about safety practices and feared reprisals if they reported mistakes or other problems.
In the survey, commissioned by the rig’s owner, Transocean, workers said that company plans were not carried out properly and that they “often saw unsafe behaviors on the rig.”
Three of every four oil and gas lobbyists worked for federal government
By Dan Eggen and Kimberly Kindy
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Three out of every four lobbyists who represent oil and gas companies previously worked in the federal government, a proportion that far exceeds the usual revolving-door standards on Capitol Hill, a Washington Post analysis shows.
Key lobbying hires include 18 former members of Congress and dozens of former presidential appointees. For other senior management positions, the industry employs two former directors of the Minerals Management Service, the since-renamed agency that regulates the industry, and several top officials from the Bush White House. Federal inspectors once assigned to monitor oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico have landed jobs with the companies they regulated.
Found after 4,000 years: the lost wooden ‘sister’ of Stonehenge
By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent Thursday, 22 July 2010
Stonehenge had a previously unknown wooden “twin” just 900m to its north-west, according to remarkable new archaeological investigations.
Using the ground-penetrating equivalent of an X-ray, scientists have discovered what appears to have been a circle of massive timber obelisks, constructed more than 4,200 years ago.
The newly discovered “henge” would have been visible from Stonehenge itself – and seems to have been part of a wider prehistoric ritual and religious landscape.
German man dumps son on motorway 300 miles from home
A furious German father has dumped his 14-year-old son on a motorway 300 miles from home to “teach him a lesson.”
Published: 7:00AM BST 22 Jul 2010
The grumpy dad had just collected his son from a summer camp in northern Bavaria but they argued and he pulled the car on to the hard-shoulder.
The man, who has not been named, ordered the teenager out and then drove off, leaving him with just five euros.
Another motorist witnessed the argument and was told by the father: “I’m leaving him here for his own good. It’s to teach him a lesson.”
Officers took the chastened boy to a police station and rang his father in the Rhineland.
Israeli troops get orders to protect civilian welfare
Move among measures outlined in official Israeli report submitted to the UN following Gaza assault
Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem
The Guardian, Thursday 22 July 2010
The Israeli military is to assign a “humanitarian affairs officer” to each combat unit to advise on the need to protect civilians and their property during conflicts.
The move is one measure outlined in an official Israeli report submitted this week to the United Nations following Israel’s three-week assault on Gaza in 2008-9. The report says the military aims to reduce civilian casualties in conflicts, and restrict use of white phosphorus, an incendiary weapon which causes extensive burns.
Israel jails Arab for ‘deceit rape’
THURSDAY, JULY 22, 2010
An Arab living in Israel has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for having consensual sex with an Israeli woman who apparently believed he was Jewish.
Sabbar Kashur was sentenced on Monday after being convicted of “rape by deception”.
According to the court, Kashur met a Jewish woman in Jerusalem in 2008 and introduced himself as a single Jew looking for a serious relationship. The two had sex in a nearby building.
North Korea calls on US and the South to halt military exercises
Planned naval exercises between South Korea and the United States are a threat to global peace, North Korea has warned.
Published: 7:00AM BST 22 Jul 2010
“Such movements pose a great threat not only to the peace and security of the Korean peninsula but also to global peace and security,” said Ri Tong Il, spokesman for the North Korean delegation at regional security talks in Vietnam.
South Korea and the United States have said that the exercises, scheduled from July 25, aim to deter North Korea from any future attack, after Seoul blamed Pyongyang for the sinking of a South Korean warship in March.
Nepal election stalemate a setback for Maoists
The Nepal election on Wednesday failed to secure enough parliamentary votes to select a new prime minister. A runoff is scheduled for Friday.
By Bikash Sangraula, Corespondant / July 21, 2010
Nepal’s failure to elect a prime minister Wednesday exposed deep divides in the political landscape and made clear that the road ahead for the country’s peace process could still be bumpy.
Neither Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda of the UCPN-Maoist party nor his major rival Ram Chandra Poudel of the Nepali Congress party, nor even Jhalanath Khanal of the Communist Party of Nepal (United Marxist-Leninist) party – the three major candidates – won the necessary majority vote from the parliamentary members in the 601-member Constituent Assembly.
‘No question’ of Chad arresting Sudan President Bashir
Chad’s government has said there can be no question of the Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir, being arrested during his current visit to the country.
The BBC 22 July 2010
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has said Mr Bashir should be detained on charges of genocide and war crimes.
Chad recognises the ICC, but a minister insisted that it was a sovereign state which did not depend on the injunctions of international organisations.
Mr Bashir, who denies the charges, is attending a meeting of a regional bloc.
It is the first time he has set foot in a country which is an ICC member since he was first indicted in 2009.
Zimbabweans flee South Africa as xenophobic violence flares
Thousands of Zimbabweans are fleeing back home after two days of xenophobic violence in Johannesburg, South Africa, reminding many of the 2008 anti-foreigner riots that killed more than 60 people displaced more than 200,000.
By Savious Kwinika, Correspondent / July 21, 2010
Johannesburg, South Africa
Soldiers and police patrolled the troubled Kya Sands settlement in Johannesburg, South Africa, Wednesday after arriving Tuesday evening to quell xenophobic violence against African migrants.
“The situation has returned to normal. The police visibility has calmed the situation,” said Oswald Reddy, a provincial police commissioner.
Police have declined to link the violence in Kya Sands – in which at least 16 people, mostly foreigners, were attacked over the past two days after a robbery touched off anger between area residents and immigrants now living in their midst – to xenophobia. Officials don’t want to provoke the kind of antiforeigner riots that killed more than 60 and displaced more than 200,000 in 2008.