Mladic guilty of genocide; former VP returns to Zimbabwe; Hariri suspends resignation

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A woman reacts near a grave of her family members in the Memorial centre Potocari near Srebrenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina, after the court proceedings of former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic
  • Somalia’s government said it requested the U.S. air strike on Tuesday which killed more than 100 suspected militants of Islamist fundamentalist group al Shabaab. The strike hit a camp 125 miles (200 km) northwest of the Somali capital Mogadishu and was part of preparations for a ground offensive against the al Qaeda-linked group. Somali minister Abdirahman Omar Oman told Reuters that operations against al Shabaab had been “stepped up.”
  • Former Bosnian Serb leader Ratko Mladic was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The UN war crimes tribunal in the Hague sentenced him to life imprisonment. Dubbed the “Butcher of Bosnia”, the 74-year-old faced 11 charges related to his role in a 1995 massacre in which more than 7,000 men and boys were killed in Srebrenica, and commanding a siege in Sarajevo in which 11,000 civilians died. He pleaded not guilty and was removed from the courtroom after shouting at the judges.
  • Over 140 leaders of the Syrian opposition met in Riyadh to prepare for the the next round of United Nations peace talks scheduled for November 28. The summit comes a day after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Russia and Iran support President Assad while Saudi Arabia supports the band of armed opposition groups. UN Syrian Envoy Staffan de Mistura says that peace talks will include drafting a new constitution and planning elections in hopes of ending the country’s seven-year civil war.
  • Zimbabwe’s former vice-president Emmerson Mnangagwa, known as “The Crocodile” will return to Harare to be sworn in as president this week. Robert Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa two weeks ago, precipitating action from the military. Mugabe resigned yesterday, a week after the army took control of Harare. Mnangagwa is a veteran of the armed struggle against white rule in Zimbabwe and has been implicated in human rights abuses both during that conflict and while in office. With backing from the military and ruling Zanu-PF party, he is not seen as a harbinger of change for Zimbabwe.
  • Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri says he has “temporarily suspended” his resignation. Hariri returned to Beirut for the first time since he quit his office in a November 4 speech from Saudi Arabia, when he cited a fear of political meddling and assassination. Security forces met the plane, as seen in video coverage on Russian network RT, and Hariri later read a prayer at his father’s grave and attended an Independence Day military parade. His abrupt departure created a political crisis, with President Michel Aoun refusing to accept the resignation until it was presented in person.


What we’re reading

  • Victims of the crimes allegedly carried out at the behest of Ratko Mladic have waited 22 years for justice, but according to survivors interviewed by Al Jazeera, the inconsistency of the justice dished out to perpetrators leaves a sour taste. – Jack Barton
  • The head of the Federal Communications Commission in the US, Ajit Pai, is making his mark by overturning Obama-era attempts to protect open and free access to internet services. This piece from news website Quartz explains the risks for the Web user – the rollback could be seen as a warning of a very different future online. – Angela Long
  • Smugglers in Libya are auctioning migrants off as slaves, according to a CNN investigation. At a property outside Tripoli, the network witnessed a dozen men go under the hammer in the space of minutes. Reporter Nima Elbagir interviews migrants from Africa who are being housed in detention centres — those who have also allegedly been sold into slavery. As a result, Libyan authorities have now launched a formal investigation into slave auctions in the country.
  • The defection of a North Korean soldier who fled into South Korea, where he was dragged to safety after being shot several times in a demilitarized zone between the countries, was recounted in a video released on Wednesday by the U.N. command in Seoul. The soldier remains in critical condition at a military hospital after the November 13 escape, but a doctor told reporters he was expected to live.

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