Lessons from Iraq, Libya loom large as diplomats ponder Syrian weapons probe
By Joby Warrick, Sunday, September 15, 10:32 AM
When Moammar Gaddafi renounced chemical weapons in 2003, the Libyan dictator surprised skeptics by moving quickly to eliminate his country’s toxic arsenal. He signed international treaties, built a disposal facility and allowed inspectors to oversee the destruction of tons of mustard gas.
But Gaddafi’s public break with weapons of mass destruction was not all that it seemed. Only after his death in 2011 did investigators learn that he had retained a large stash of chemical weapons. In a hillside bunker deep in Libya’s southeastern desert, Gaddafi had tucked away hundreds of battle-ready warheads loaded with deadly sulfur mustard.
The story of Gaddafi’s deception now looms over nascent efforts to devise a plan for destroying the chemical arsenal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, another strongman who, in a stunning reversal, agreed in principle last week to give up his stockpile under U.S. and Russian pressure.
More buses, street lights: how to make India safer for women
Report calls for wide-ranging changes to country’s culture and infrastructure following death sentences in Delhi gang-rape trial
The Observer, Sunday 15 September 2013
Campaigners are calling for a new deal for India’s women in the wake of the death sentences handed down by a Delhi judge to four men who tricked a woman and her male friend on to an out-of-service bus before gang-raping her so brutally that she died later from her injuries.
The case brought women’s rights protesters across India on to the streets in angry demonstrations against the country’s culture of violence against women, from female foeticide to rape. But activists fear the intense focus on the court case will do nothing to improve the safety of women on city streets. A new report by three Indian academics supports those concerns and says it is India’s infrastructure that needs to change, from bus services to public toilets.
Organised crime surge in EU: Smuggling, counterfeit and internet abuse – all in a day’s work for Europol
Europe’s criminal intelligence agency is fighting unprecedented levels of crime across several fronts as gangs capitalise on new technology
PAUL GALLAGHER Author Biography SUNDAY 15 SEPTEMBER 2013
The UK and the rest of Europe is dealing with an unprecedented surge in organised crime as sophisticated multinational groups, including child sex abusers and counterfeit gangs, expand their networks, according to the British head of the European Union’s criminal intelligence agency, Europol.
As MEPs on the Special Committee on Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering prepare to vote on Tuesday on actions to combat the criminals, Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, said that thousands of gangs are capitalising on the rise of smartphone and internet technology.
Police sweep striking teachers from plaza
September 15, 2013
Squads of riot police backed by water cannon swept into the historic heart of Mexico’s capital on Friday, scurrying between bonfires to flush out striking teachers, some of whom swung pipes and threw rocks at security forces.
As helicopters hovered, masked protesters fleeing the square tore up pavement, installed impromptu barricades and tossed rocks.
By late afternoon, police had cleared the vast plaza of a sprawling tent camp that striking teachers installed last month, but were still battling protesters on nearby streets, using tear-gas.
South Sudan stumbles
South Sudan is facing corruption, a lack of public services and repression of government opponents and the media.
15 SEP 2013 09:04 REUTERS
Telsach Gad, a teacher in South Sudan, had high hopes for a better life when his country became independent in 2011 after decades of civil war with Khartoum. Two years later, he has lost all illusions.
“The government hasn’t done anything to develop the country,” the unemployed Arabic instructor said, sitting with other jobless young men in a makeshift roadside café in the capital Juba. “We don’t have jobs, schools, hospitals.”
Western donors and the UN have poured billions of dollars into South Sudan, which won independence after decades of war with northern rulers in Khartoum, becoming the world’s newest country and a large African oil producer in its own right.
Ceasefire shattered as fighting intensifies in Philippines
Fighting continued for a sixth straight day as Philippines government forces clashed with rogue Muslim separatists on Mindanao. A reported cease-fire negotiated Friday didn’t hold.
By Erik de Castro, Reuters
Fighting intensified on Saturday in the southern Philippines between government troops and rogue Muslim separatists, shattering a ceasefire almost immediately as it was to go into effect and leaving many residents running low on supplies.
The army said 53 people, including 43 guerrillas, had been killed in the fighting, now in its sixth day in the port city of Zamboanga. Both President Benigno Aquino and his vice-president flew into the city to monitor operations.
Dozens have been wounded and more than 62,000 people displaced, with hundreds of homes razed and a hospital still in flames.