World briefs: Warlord gets long jail term
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PARIS -- The International Criminal Court in The Hague sentenced a Congolese warlord to 14 years in prison Tuesday for using child soldiers in his rebel army in 2002 and 2003. The sentence was the first imposed by the court.
Thomas Lubanga, a former psychologist turned warlord, was found guilty in March of "widespread" use of girls and boys under the age of 15, recruiting them in his militia and sending them to kill and terrorize villagers in the Ituri region of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The sentence was far short of the 30 years the prosecution had requested.
BAGHDAD -- The U.N.'s special envoy on the Syrian crisis sought to build support for his peace efforts Tuesday with the leaders of Iran and Iraq, saying President Bashar Assad has agreed to a plan to quell the bloodshed in the most violent areas of Syria and then expand the operation to the whole country.
Top diplomat Kofi Annan said at a news conference in Iran that the plan still must be presented to the Syrian opposition. But he said his talks with Mr. Assad a day earlier focused on a new approach to ending the violence, which activists say has killed more than 17,000 people since March 2011.
Mr. Annan did not elaborate on the Assad plan.
LONDON -- Prime Minister David Cameron survived a rebellion from within his Conservative Party over plans to overhaul the House of Lords, Parliament's unelected chamber.
Mr. Cameron won the vote on the House of Lords Reform Bill by 462 votes to 124, meaning the bill can pass to the next stage in the legislative process. Its proposals involve replacing the current 816-member chamber, made up of political appointees, hereditary nobility and Church of England bishops, with a smaller chamber of mainly elected members serving a single 15-year term.
GENEVA -- China blocked a request by the United States, the European Union and Japan for World Trade Organization judges to probe its curbs on exports of rare earths. It won't be able to thwart a second request, which may be made on July 23.
China says it imposed the limits in 2010 to conserve resources and protect the environment. China produces 97 percent of the world's rare earths, 17 chemically similar metallic elements used in Boeing Co. helicopter blades, Nokia Oyj mobile phones, Toyota Motor Corp. hybrid cars and wind turbines, according to EU data.
BERLIN -- European rabbis opened an emergency meeting Tuesday after a German court said circumcising children for religious reasons amounts to bodily harm even if parents agree to it.
The three-day gathering is to map out a strategy to address a ruling by a district court in Cologne that has sparked condemnations from Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders, the Conference of European Rabbis said.
BELGRADE, Serbia -- Three Serbian political groups on Tuesday signed a pact paving the way for a new coalition government to take office later this month and put an end to the stalemate after inconclusive May 6 elections.
Leaders of the Progressive Party, the Socialists and the United Regions of Serbia signed the accord in Belgrade. The three groups will together control 131 of parliament's 250 seats.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published July 11, 2012 12:00 am