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January 15, 2019 | Via Reuters

Ex-Ivorian Leader Gbagbo Acquitted of War Crimes, to be Freed

International Criminal Court judges on Tuesday acquitted former Ivorian leader Laurent Gbagbo of all war crimes charges and ordered his immediate release in a blow to prosecutors who have lost other major cases in recent years. Presiding Judge Cuno Tarfusser said prosecutors failed to prove their case against Gbagbo and co-defendant Charles Blé Goudé, a close ally and former political youth leader, who were ordered to be set free. Gbagbo was the first former head of state to stand trial at the ICC.

January 15, 2019 | Via BBC

China’s Moon Mission Sees First Seeds Sprout

Seeds taken up to the Moon by China’s Chang’e-4 mission have sprouted, says China National Space Administration. It marks the first time any biological matter has grown on the Moon, and is being seen as a significant step towards long-term space exploration. The Chang’e 4 is the first mission to land on and explore the Moon’s far side, facing away from Earth. Plants have been grown on the International Space Station before but never on the Moon.

January 15, 2019 | Via NY Times

Attorney General Nominee Promises to Allow Mueller to Finish His Work

William P. Barr, President Trump’s nominee for attorney general, promised on Monday that he would allow the special counsel to continue his investigation, seeking to allay Democrats’ fears that he might shut down the inquiry. After Mr. Barr was nominated last month, an unsolicited memo emerged that he had sent to Justice Department officials and the president’s lawyers last year criticizing a focus of the inquiry: whether the president obstructed justice by firing James B. Comey as F.B.I. director in a possible effort to impede the inquiry itself.

January 15, 2019 | Via CNN

China Sentences Canadian to Death for Drug Smuggling

A Canadian citizen in China has been sentenced to death after a court convicted him of drug smuggling on Monday, a move likely to further inflame tensions between Ottawa and Beijing. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized the ruling, which comes as relations have strained between the two countries following the arrest of a senior executive from the Chinese tech firm Huawei in Vancouver last month. Trudeau said the Chinese court’s decision was “of extreme concern.”

January 15, 2019 | Via BBC

Zimbabwe Protests after Petrol and Diesel Price Hike

Several people have been killed during protests in Zimbabwe after the government more than doubled the price of fuel overnight. Hundreds more were arrested as demonstrators took to the streets in the cities of Harare and Bulawayo. President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the fuel price rise is aimed at tackling shortages caused by an increase in fuel use and “rampant” illegal trading. Zimbabwe’s government is trying to resuscitate the country’s struggling economy. Inflation is running high while wages have stagnated.

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