Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi’s second son and former heir apparent, will be tried in Libya with a verdict coming before mid-June, a Libyan official says. Gaddafi is to be transferred by local militia to the National Transitional Council within the next ten days. The decision comes despite calls by rights groups to hand Gaddafi over to the International Criminal Court for fear that he might not get a fair trial in Libya. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi was captured in the south of the country last November and was then flown to the town of Zintan in the west, where he has since been held captive.
An Egyptian court is to decide whether to prevent Hosni Mubarak's former intelligence chief and prime minister from running for the presidency, Reuters reports, citing a judicial source. An Egyptian lawyer has filed a case to have Omar Suleiman, the former intelligence chief, and Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, barred from participating in presidential elections as they served under the ousted leader. The first hearing is to take place in Cairo on Tuesday. Reports say two other similar cases have been filed recently.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has arrived in Moscow where he is to have talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. During the meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Muallem will tell Lavrov about Syria's compliance with the "six-point" plan proposed by UN and Arab League Envoy Kofi Anan. Tuesday is also the deadline for the Syrian government to withdraw its troops and heavy weapons from cities. The withdrawal should be followed by a two-day cease fire.
The Anonymous hacker group says it plans to have more attacks on Chinese government websites to uncover corruption and lobby for human rights, Reuters reports Monday. "First we want to alert the Chinese government that we aren't afraid, and we are going to show the truth and fight for justice," the agency quoted one of the activists. Last week the group hacked hundreds of Chinese government websites in a bid to demonstrate revolt against the Chinese system.
At least 11 people have been killed by a bomb near the market area of the Somali town of Baidoa. More than 30 other people, mostly women and children, were seriously injured, BBC quoted Governor Abdifitah Mohamed Gesey as saying. Ethiopian troops seized Baidoa from the Islamist militia al-Shabab in February. Recently, African Union peacekeepers were deployed to the town for the first time.
Two nuclear reactors have tentatively met government safety standards, Japan's economy minister said Monday, paving the way for final approval for their startup soon. All but one of the country’s 54 reactors are offline for regular safety checks. The last will be shut down in May. Economy and Industry Minister Yukio Edano said the No. 3 and 4 reactors at the Ohi plant “more or less meet our safety standards,” AP reports. The government issued new safety guidelines last Friday to address worries of residents who fear another disaster like the one at Fukushima. Japan will face a power shortage if reactors are not restarted.
Mali's highest court met Monday after President Amadou Toumani Toure resigned and the coup leaders agreed to begin the process of returning to constitutional order. Under a power transfer deal agreed late last week, parliamentary speaker Dioncounda Traore is expected to become interim leader until new elections are held. On Monday, he met with Captain Amadou Sanogo, who seized power with a group of soldiers on March 22.
Al-Jadeed TV assistant cameraman Ali Shaaban was killed on Monday at a border crossing in the Lebanese northern area of Wadi Khaled, Lebanese media say. The TV crew was reporting from Khat Nafet when their vehicle was shot at near the Syrian border town of Armouta, security sources say. Shaaban was reportedly shot in the chest and died later at a nearby hospital. Al-Jadeed is a Pan Arab station broadcasting from Lebanon.
At least 24 people were killed on Monday after an Al-Qaeda militants’ raid on army barracks, officials say. “Fifteen Al-Qaeda gunmen were killed in clashes with members of the 111th Brigade in Loder in Abyan province,” the Defense Ministry announced. Other sources say that 10 militants were killed in the fighting. Five soldiers and four tribesmen who backed the army were also reported dead. The region is considered a stronghold of the terror network.
Hundreds of demonstrators in Tunis tried to mark Martyrs' Day on Monday, protesting against the ban imposed on March 28. Police used tear gas to disperse a rally on a central Bourguiba Avenue, where demonstrations are banned. The Interior Ministry banned rallies on the avenue, a symbol of the Tunisian revolution, after Islamist protesters demanding Sharia law attacked actors last month. On Saturday, a protest by thousands of unemployed graduates was also dispersed by police.
Hosni Mubarak's former vice president and spy chief Omar Suleiman has promised not to “reinvent” the regime if he is elected president. The Egyptian uprising has created a “new reality that cannot be reversed,” he told Al-Akhbar newspaper on Monday. His top priority would be restoring security, Suleiman stressed. The 75-year-old also said he has received death threats from “elements” of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist groups, AP reports. The presidential elections are scheduled for May 23-24.
The US Navy has deployed a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf, Cmdr. Amy Derrick-Frost of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said on Monday. The deployment of nuclear-powered USS Enterprise along the Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group is the fourth time in the past decade that the navy has had two aircraft carriers at the same time in the region, AP said. According to Derrick-Frost, the two carriers will support the US military operations in Afghanistan and anti-piracy efforts. The battleships will also patrol the Gulf's strategic oil routes.
Iran will resume talks with six world powers over its nuclear program in Istanbul on April 14. Earlier Tehran proposed Baghdad as a venue for the negotiations as Iran disagrees with Turkey’s position on the Syria conflict. The last time Iran negotiated with Britain, China, France, Russia and the US plus Germany was in January 2011 with no results.
Gunmen suspected to be members of a radical Islamic sect Boko Haram opened fire at a policeman and his family, killing his six-year-old daughter. The policeman’s son and other daughter were injured, AP reports. The shooting took place late Sunday at their home in Potiskum in northeast Nigeria. The policeman escaped the attack.
Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will take her seat in parliament for the first time on April 23. Party spokesman Nyan Win said on Monday that Suu Kyi received her official invitation to take her lower house seat at the beginning of the next parliamentary session, AP reports. Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party won 43 seats in an April 1 by-election. The party will be the main opposition presence in parliament dominated by allies of the former military regime.
Turkey said on Monday that Syrian forces fired across the border at a refugee camp. A Turkish translator and at least two Syrian refugees were wounded in gunfire, AP reports, citing an anonymous Turkish official. Ankara summoned the Syrian charge d'affaires and asked that the fire be halted. The people were wounded inside the camp near the town of Kilis in the southwestern Gaziantep province. This is the first such attack, Turkey says. More than 24,000 refugees have crossed from Syria into Turkey since last summer.
Pakistan sent a military aircraft to the northern town Gilgit to evacuate over 80 foreigners who were stranded due to sectarian violence. Most of those evacuated on Sunday are Japanese tourists, police said. Gilgit has been under a curfew since April 3. At least 14 people were killed and over 50 wounded in sectarian clashes in Gilgit and Chilas towns, AFP reports. Gilgit, the capital of Pakistan's far northern Gilgit-Baltistan region, is popular with tourists as a gateway to the Karakoram and Himalayan mountain ranges.
Moscow is considering sending monitors to Syria on an observer mission, Deputy Foreign Minister Gennady Gatilov said on Monday. He noted, however, that the issue has not been settled yet, Itar-Tass reports. Technical details are being coordinated now, including the format and the composition of the mission. The diplomat also noted that Moscow was working with Damascus in order to launch the political process of settlement in Syria as soon as possible. “Attempts to impose the decision on Syria from outside results only in an escalation of tension,” he warned.
Peace Corps volunteers have been evacuated from Mali due to political instability after a military coup in March. Non-essential US diplomatic personnel have been also offered flights out, the State Department said on Sunday. It recommended US citizens in Mali consider leaving temporarily and warned Americans against travel to the West African nation, also due to a rebellion in the north. The travel warning came after Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure formally resigned on Sunday. The junta earlier promised to restore civilian rule.
The UN and Arab League envoy for Syria, Kofi Annan, will be in Turkey on Tuesday to visit Syrian refugee camps near the border, according to Turkish diplomatic sources. “The visit will only last a few hours, ahead of Annan’s trip to Iran,” AFP quoted an anonymous official as saying. Around 25,000 Syrian refugees are currently housed in camps in Turkey’s regions bordering Syria. The former UN chief is also expected in Tehran on Wednesday.
Eleven people were killed, including five soldiers, in the Al-Qaeda fighters’ attack on military barracks in southern Yemen on Monday. Four Al-Qaeda militants and two members of tribes that support the military also died in the clashes early in the morning, AFP reports. The barracks house the 111th Armored Brigade of the Yemeni army in Loder, a stronghold of the terror network in restive Abyan province. Army says it killed 24 suspected Al-Qaeda militants in southern and eastern Yemen in air strikes at the weekend.
Former head of the South Ossetian KGB Leonid Tibilov has won the presidential run-off held in the Caucasus republic on Sunday. He gained more than 54 per cent of votes (15,786 voters), the Central Election Commission said. His rival, human rights commissioner David Sanakoyev got about 43 per cent (12,439 voters). The turnout was more than 71 per cent. The inauguration of the republic’s new president will take place on April 19 or 20.
Peru's mining minister has appealed for equipment and experts to help free nine miners trapped underground for the last four days. Authorities have been supplying them with food and water through a hose since a shaft in the copper mine they were working in collapsed. The country's Prime Minister Oscar Valdez has visited the site, and says it could be three more days before they are freed.
A large tanker burst into flames on a California highway, after another car crashed in to it. The road had to be closed while over 150 firefighters tackled the blaze. The tanker was carrying almost 90,000 gallons of petrol at the time. Both drivers escaped unhurt, with the owner of the second vehicle arrested after testing positive for alcohol.