Sudan's minister of humanitarian affairs and a former militia commander were named by the International Criminal Court (ICC) Tuesday as bearing "criminal responsibility" in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Darfur residents and the displacement of more than 2 million others. In particular, Ahmed Haroun, who held the Interior Ministry portfolio at the height of the Darfur conflict, was cited for recruiting so-called janja-weed militiamen "with the full knowledge" that they'd commit murder, rape, and torture. Sudan's leaders do not recognize the authority of the ICC.Skip to next paragraph
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Tamil separatist rebels apologized for the wounding of three diplomats by an exploding mortar shell in Sri Lanka Tuesday, but blamed government forces for putting the men in harm's way. None of the three, the US, Italian, and German ambassadors was seriously hurt. But the incident is believed to be the first time foreign diplomats have been caught in the violence between the Tamils and the government. They were on a goodwill tour to the eastern side of the island nation at the time.
As expected, President Hugo Chávez used his newly expanded executive powers to order the takeover of foreign-owned oil assets in Venezuela's Orinoco basin. The move affects six companies, notably ExxonMobil, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips of the US and BP of Britain, and is to be implemented by May 1, Chávez said on his radio program Monday. Takeovers of communications and electric power utilities have cost his government $1.3 billion in February alone, turning the bolívar into the world's poorest-performing currency, the financial news service Bloomberg.com reported.
The warden and 21 guards at a maximum-security prison in Guatemala were arrested on suspicion of involvement in the shooting deaths Sunday of four police officers as the case threatened to spiral into a national crisis. The police had been jailed for the murders last week of members of the Central American Parliament from neighboring El Salvador. Their own deaths "clearly" were aimed at keeping investigators from finding out who ordered the original slayings, President Oscar Berger said. Speculation has centered on drug gangs or others in organized crime as being responsible.
Reckless decisionmaking, stemming from a culture of corruption, helps to explain the growing list of transport accidents in Indonesia, the government's antigraft chief said Tuesday. Since late December, more than 450 people have died in a plane crash and two ferry accidents, the latest coming last week. Taufiequarachman Ruki told Reuters that stronger law enforcement will lead to good management in the transportation sector, better procurement and maintenance practices, and a return of investor confidence in Indonesia, which ranks low in international surveys on corruption. Critics, however, have accused Ruki's antigraft program of leaving civil service officials too frightened to act.
The board of Airbus unanimously OK'd a controversial restructuring plan for the troubled aviation giant, and details will be announced Wednesday, a spokesman said. Power8, as it is known, is believed to call for up to 15,000 layoffs – mainly in France and Germany – to help Airbus save $7 billion in operating costs and better compete with Boeing of the US. But with France's national election weeks away, industry observers speculated that the company may announce fewer job cuts to placate politicians and unions.
At least 13 people died and 25 others were hospitalized with various injuries after a passenger bus veered off a road in Nepal late Monday night and fell into a river. The accident appeared to coincide with a daytime blockade of highways by ethnic rights protesters, which forces drivers to make their trips after dark and at high speeds so as to arrive at their destinations before dawn.