PIL/IEL updates

(these updates were taken from various sources)

> The big news, of course, is the warrant of arrest issued by the Pretrial Chamber of the International Criminal Court for Omar al Bashir, the incumbent president of Sudan, for crimes against humanity and war crimes but not for crime of genocide against the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa ethinc groups. The warrant was issued pursuant to Article 58.1.a of the Rome Statute, which provides that ‘the Pre-Trial Chamber shall, on the application of the Prosecutor, issue a warrant of arrest of a person if, …, it is satisfied that: there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has committed a crime within the jurisdiction of the Court’. For copy of the warrant, click
here. Whether the warrant will actually be carried out is another matter.

> Last 2 March 2009, renegade soldiers assassinated the president of
Guinea-Bissau in his palace, hours after a bomb blast killed his rival but the military said that no coup was in progress in the fragile West African nation.The military statement broadcast on state radio attributed President Joao Bernardo Vieira's death to an "isolated" group of unidentified soldiers whom the military said it was now hunting down. Luis Sanca, security adviser to Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Jr., confirmed the president had died but gave no details. The military said the armed forces would respect the constitutional order, which calls for parliament chief Raimundo Pereira to succeed the president in the event of his death. It also dismissed claims that the armed forces headquarters was implicated in Vieira's killing as a retaliation for the assassination late Sunday of armed forces chief of staff Gen. Batiste Tagme na Waie at his headquarters in Bissau.

> The US House of Representatives passed last 25 February 2005 by a vote of 245-178
H.R. 1105, the $410 billion Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, to fund much of the government for the remainder of fiscal year 2009. The omnibus appropriations bill makes several changes with respect to Cuba policy. Section 620 of the bill contains language that would amend the Trade Sanctions Reform Act to permit persons to travel to Cuba to market and sell agricultural and medical products under a general license, rather than pursuant to a specific license. Sections 621 and 622 of H.R. 1150 would defund enforcement of the 2005 Bush Administration changes to the rules governing "cash in advance" payments of agricultural sales and travel to visit family members in Cuba. The bill would also appropriate $83,676,000 to the Bureau of Industry and Security, of which of which $14,767,000 must be used for "inspections and other activities related to national security." The bill now goes to the Senate, where considerable debate is expected over the bill's high price and numerous earmarks.

> The European Union would consider appealing to the WTO if U.S. aid for the American auto industry made conditions unfair for European manufacturers, the EU's transport chief said.
"Europe is evaluating -- if that help should impinge on the competitiveness of our producers -- appealing to the WTO," European Transport Commissioner Antonio Tajani said. The Italian commissioner said that, with countries around the world providing incentives for their industries to protect national production and jobs, certain countries giving their own manufacturers an unfair advantage should be avoided. Meanwhile, China's commerce minister said last 27 February 2009 that the World Trade Organization should play a role in ensuring stimulus packages used to combat the economic crisis do not result in protectionism. Speaking during a trade mission to Britain, Chen Deming said there was insufficient coordination among stimulus packages around the world and that an international body could play a role in focusing the world's response. "Some countries are working away to protect their own national interests," he said, without referring to any country or region. "There's no coordination between stimulus packages. "I think perhaps the WTO can do some kind of evaluation or review of these stimulus packages and then as a result the WTO can share some recommendations with these economies."