Iran stops selling oil to UK and France

The Iranian oil ministry announced on Sunday it has stopped all sales of crude oil to British and French companies. A spokesman was quoted on the ministry’s website as saying: "Exporting crude to British and French companies has been stopped … we will sell our oil to new customers. We have our own customers … The replacements for these companies have been considered by Iran." The announcement came after threats earlier this week to stop oil supplies to other countries in Europe. Tehran is thought to attempt to pre-empt sanctions by the EU, stopping all imports of oil from the country from 1...

China urges end to Syria violence

A Chinese envoy on a visit to Syria has called on all sides to end the violence. Zhai Jun has expressed Chinese support for the government’s plan to hold a referendum on the constitution on February 26. However, the opposition has called for a boycott of the referendum and rejected the plans for as long as violence was still ongoing. "The position of China is to call on the government, the opposition and the rebels to halt acts of violence immediately." said Zhai Jun. "We hope that the referendum on a new constitution as well as the forthcoming parliamentary elections pass off calmly." Mr...

Australia adopts resolution confirming Srebrenica genocide

The Australian parliament adopted a resolution Saturday, confirming the judgement of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, that the massacre of over 8000 Bosnian muslims in Srebenica in 1995, was a genocide. The US, Canada, and European Union countries, have already adopted such a resolution.

Le Pen charged for 'condoning war crimes' - France

The founder of France's far-right, National Front part, Le Pen, was found guilty of condoning war crimes on Thursday, and given a suspended jail sentence of three months and a fine. In 2005, Le Pen had remarked that the Nazi occupation of France during the second world war, “not been particularly inhumane, even if there were blunders.”

Serbs reject Albanian rule in Kosovo

A referendum by ethnic Serbs in the north of Kosovo have rejected rule by the Kosovo authority in Pristina. Kosovo Serb election officials said 99.7% of voters rejected rule by the ethnic Albanian majority. Serbs in the north of Kosovo have obstructed attempts by the Kosovo government to establish authority in the region and have rejected attempts by NATO forces to implement law and order. The Kosovo government denonunced the referendum saying it "does not produce any legally and politically binding effect and as such is not valid". Serbian President Boris Tadic was also critical of the...

Mladic genocide trial pushed back until May

The trial of the former Bosnian Serb commander Ratko Mladic has been delayed until May 14th to allow the defence team more time to prepare and analyse thousands of pages of evidence. The UN backed war crimes court had initially planned to the case of Mladic, nicknamed the “Butch of Bosnia”, on the 27th of March. The 68-year-old defendant faces 11 charges of war crimes and two counts of genocide, for his role in Bosnia’s 1992-1995 war. In December the number of crimes in the indictment against Mladic was reduced from 196 to 106 due to Mladic’s ailing health. He is being charged with...

Iran denies State TV reports of ending EU exports

The Iranian oil ministry has denied state media reports claiming it has ended exports to various EU countries in response to an EU oil embargo. Press TV, an Iranian channel recently banned in the UK by Ofcom, claimed exports to the Netherlands, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain were cancelled. The EU imposed an oil embargo on Iran last month, but it will only come into effect in July, due to the reliance of several EU states on Iranian oil. Oil prices rose after Press TV’s report, but the European Commission said it would not make a difference as member states were already switching...

Britain pushes initiative to gather evidence of Syrian crimes

“On top of this, we must end any illusion the regime has that it can act with impunity in Syria. There is no doubt that mass murder is being committed. Some 6,000 people have already been sacrificed to the regime's brutal determination to cling to power. Those carrying out these crimes may well think that they will get away with it. However that is what Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, the architects of the blood-soaked siege of Sarajevo, probably thought; or Slobodan Milosevic when he presided over ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and Bosnia; or Charles Taylor when he committed his crimes in...

Protesters take to streets of Bahrain one year on

Thousands of protesters marched through the streets of Bahrain's capital, Manama, to mark the one-year anniversary of pro-democracy uprisings. Protesters gathered around Pearl Square, now commonly referred to as 'Freedom Square', the epicentre of last year's demonstrations, and vowed to fight on. Riot police and security forces tried to curtail the protests using tear gas, after the government warned of a zero-tolerance approach to any such anti-government activity. Over 60 people are believed to have died since the protests started and there have been numerous accounts of protesters being...

China will not protect Syrian regime – Prime Minister

The Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao has told reporters that China will not protect Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. The statement, which marks a significant change in tone since vetoing a UN resolution condemning the crackdown on opposition activists, is thought to be a move designed to limit damage after widespread criticism of its perceived protection of the Syrian state. Mr Jiabao addressed reporters after talks with EU officials in Beijing. Speaking alongside European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy, Jiabao insisted China was...

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