Law and Order in Libya
Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan gave the first account of his kidnapping this week, in which heavily-armed “men who claimed to be revolutionaries” seized him from his hotel room at 2:30am, lashing out at his kidnappers and calling it “a coup against legitimacy.” He announced criminal investigations against the militia leaders and demanded that the militia groups turn over those responsible, and saying that he would not allow the militias to operate with impunity. Previously, other militias have hampered oil production, shut down water mains and forced power cuts.
In a hopeful sign, the International Criminal Court ruled today that Muammar Gaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi would be tried for war crimes in Libya, not the Hague, essentially endorsing Libya’s legal system. In a less hopeful sign, a car bomb exploded outside the Swedish consulate in Benghazi, seriously damaging the building.
Syrian Rebels Accused of Massacre
After visiting over a dozen majority-Alawite villages in the regime stronghold of Latakia, Human Rights Watch said that jihadi-led rebels in Syria went from house to house, killing at least 190 civilians and taking 200 hostages. They either killed entire families or just the men, taking women and children hostage to use as bargaining chips for the release of prisoners held by the Assad regime. It is currently the largest documented incidence of war crimes committed by the rebels.
The Western-backed rebel alliance, the Free Syria Army, distanced itself from the five rebels groups HRW named as the main perpetrators. While the FSA did take part in that offensive, it may not have been present for the massacre.
Missouri Governor Halts Execution Over Drug Shortage Worries
After the European Union threatened to limit its export of the common anesthetic propofol if the US used it to carry out the death penalty, Missouri governor Jay Nixon halted what was to be America’s first execution using that drug. Propofol is the most popular anesthetic in America, with almost 50 million doses administered every year; of this, the EU manufactures almost 90% .
Drug makers in recent years have stopped selling potentially lethal pharmaceuticals to prisons because they don’t want them used in executions, leaving many states scrambling for ways to kill their inmates. This is why Missouri changed the cocktail it uses in lethal injections to include propofol in April 2012. Nixon has since instructed the Department of Corrections to find a different drug for lethal injections.
Danger At Home For Female Veterans
A new study in the Journal of Family Violence reports than in addition to being at significantly higher risk of sexual assault while serving in the military, but are also at much greater risk of intimate partner violence once they return to the US. 39% of female veterans have reported experiencing IPV, while rates among the average American woman are 22-31%. There has yet to be a study on the source of this disparity.
The problem of IPV is often not on the radar of busy doctors and nurses already screening for other issues common to veterans like substance, abuse, depression and PTSD.
UN Approves Central African Republic Peace Effort
The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution aimed at stabilizing the Central African Republic, which is currently in a state of near-total chaos. It promised support for a new African Union force to be deployed and helpfully demanded that armed groups “lay down their arms immediately.”
France – the colonial power that ruled CAR – has been at the forefront of urging international action to prevent the country from becoming a magnet for armed groups in the region. CAR is in a particularly sensitive region of Africa, neighboring both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. Mercenaries already form a large percentage of the rebels who have been in control of the country since a coup in March.
Weekend Read: The Final Insult in the Bush-Cheney Marriage
How Dick Cheney finally lost the president. via The New York Times Magazine