Today 10 December
The body tasked with ridding the world of chemical weapons picked up its Nobel Peace Prize in a ceremony in Oslo Tuesday and said it hoped the prestige would speed a global ban on the dreaded arms. "It is my fervent hope that this award will spur on efforts to make the Chemical Weapons Convention a truly universal norm," the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)'s director general, Ahmet Uzumcu, said. He said no weapon "has a monopoly on cruelty or lethality -- but chemical weapons have, by any measure, an especially nefarious legacy." A handful of countries, including Israel, Egypt and North Korea, are not implementing a global ban watched over by the OPCW.
By Emmanuel Braun BANGUI (Reuters) - Crowds attacked a mosque, looted houses and torched cars in Central African Republic's capital on Tuesday, hours before French President Francois Hollande was due to visit. Two French soldiers were killed overnight in an attack by gunmen in the capital, France's first casualties in an operation to restore stability in its former colony, which is racked by fighting between Muslims and Christians. Major gunbattes have ended with the French deployment but French troops have traded gunfire with gunmen in the capital, where religious tension is simmering. ...
JOHANNESBURG (AP) — U.S. President Barack Obama exhorted the world Tuesday to embrace Nelson Mandela's universal message of peace and justice, electrifying tens of thousands of rain-lashed spectators and prompting a standing ovation by scores of heads of state in a South African stadium.
Soweto (South Africa) (AFP) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday shook hands with Raul Castro, leader of America's Cold War foe Cuba, in a rare gesture at the memorial service in South Africa for Nelson Mandela. Obama offered the handshake before taking the stage to eulogise Mandela, but minutes later, made a clear swipe at states like Cuba, saying those who proclaim Mandela's legacy must honour its meaning by easing curbs on freedom.
By Khalid Abdel Aziz and Maggie Fick KHARTOUM/CAIRO (Reuters) - Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir's appointment of an old military ally as his deputy may shield one of Africa's longest-serving rulers from risks at home and abroad. In a government shake-up, Bashir named Lieutenant General Bakri Hassan Saleh - a confidant who helped him stage his 1989 coup and crush many rebellions - as first vice president, replacing veteran politician Ali Osman Taha. By positioning Saleh one step away from his own job, Bashir may be crafting a strategy to avoid being handed over to the International Criminal Court on charges of genocide if he keeps his promise to step down in 2015. The reshuffle announced on Sunday by Bashir underscores the diminishing role of Islamists such as Taha as the president turns to more trusted allies in the military, an organization important to his survival in a country with a history of coups.