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A UN court has convicted former Bosnian Serb military chief Ratko Mladic of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to life in prison for atrocities perpetrated during Bosnia's 1992-1995 war. The court in The Hague convicted Mladic of 10 of 11 counts in a dramatic climax to a groundbreaking effort to seek justice for the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Presiding Judge Alphons Orie read out the judgment Wednesday after ordering Mladic, dubbed "The Butcher of Bosnia", out of the courtroom over an angry outburst. Mladic was found guilty of commanding forces responsible for crimes including the worst atrocities of the war - the deadly three-year siege of the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo, and the 1995 massacre of some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the eastern enclave of Srebrenica. He will appeal the verdict, his legal team said on Wednesday. Mothers of Srebrenica's victims clapped when the convictions were read out. Mladic's son Darko said: "I'm not surprised. The court was totally biased from the start." Mothers of Srebrenica's victims clapped when the convictions were read out Credit: AFP U.N. human rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein called the verdict a "momentous victory for justice". “Mladic is the epitome of evil, and the prosecution of Mladic is the epitome of what international justice is all about,” Zeid said in a statement. “Today’s verdict is a warning to the perpetrators of such crimes that they will not escape justice, no matter how powerful they may be nor how long it may take." Mladic is to appeal his life sentence, his son said on Wednesday, calling the judgement by a UN war crimes court "war propaganda". "This sentence is unjust and contrary to the facts and we will fight it on appeal to prove that this judgement is wrong," Darko Mladic told reporters shortly after his father was found guilty of 10 charges, including genocide and war crimes in the 1990s Balkans conflict. Today justice has been replaced by war propaganda," Darko Mladic said. Mladic's legal added: "It is certain we will file an appeal and the appeal will be successful." Mladic's trial was the last before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and comes as the court prepares to close its doors next month. International War Crimes Tribunal investigators clearing away soil and debris from dozens of Srebrenica victims buried in a mass grave near the village of Pilica Credit: Staton Winter / AP After rumours that he would not attend his verdict, the former general, 74, who once cut a swathe of fear against Bosnia, at first appeared relaxed in courtroom as he listened intently to presiding judge Alphons Orie. However, Mladic was dragged out of his judgement hearing after he started shouting at war crimes judges that they were lying. Presiding judge Alphons Orie ordered him removed from the courtroom just after denying a defence request to halt the proceedings due to Mladic's high blood pressure. Protesters stand outside the court, as they wait for the verdict on former Bosnian military chief Ratko Mladic Credit: Anadolu "They are lying, you are lying. I don't feel good," Mladic shouted, refusing to sit down, before being hustled out of the courtroom by two UN security guards to a nearby room where he could watch the rest of the proceedings. His outburst came after the judges refused to halt the reading of the verdict at the International Criminal Tribunal of the former Yugoslavia in The Hague, where Mladic is accused of 11 charges of genocide and war crimes arising out of the 1990s Balkans conflict. After a surprise break requested by Mladic which lasted about 45 minutes, defence lawyer Dragan Ivetic returned to tell the judges that Mladic's blood pressure had been taken three times by nurses. A scene from outside the court in The Hague Credit: Anadolu According to British and US medical organisations, that meant that Mladic was in a "hypertensive crisis" and continuing the hearing could lead to "fatality," Ivetic said. But the judges disagreed with the findings, and refused to adjourn the hearing. Wednesday's verdict has been long awaited by tens of thousands of victims across the bitterly-divided region, and dozens gathered early outside the courtroom in The Hague, many clutching photos of loved ones who died or are among the 7,000 still missing. "Bosnia and Herzegovina: No impunity for war criminals!", read one banner, while another had a picture of Mladic with a human skull saying: "Guilty of all!" Mladic denied 11 counts including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the 1992-1995 war that killed 100,000 and displaced 2.2 million as ethnic rivalries tore Yugoslavia apart. Prosecutors accuse Mladic and his political counterpart Radovan Karadzic of seeking through ethnic cleansing to "permanently remove" Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from areas claimed by Bosnian Serbs.
By MacDonald Dzirutwe HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's former vice president Emmerson Mnangagwa will be sworn in as president on Friday marking a new era for a country dominated by Robert Mugabe whose swift downfall this week ended nearly four decades in power. The ruling ZANU-PF party has nominated Mnangagwa to fill the vacancy left by Mugabe on Tuesday and he will be sworn in on Friday, said Jacob Mudenda, the speaker of parliament. Mugabe sacked Mnangagwa as vice president two weeks ago to smooth a path to the succession for his wife Grace, who is much younger than the 93-year-old leader.
The Royal Navy has deployed its elite submarine rescue team to join the search for a missing Argentine submarine, after failed satellite calls thought to be from the vessel raised hopes the crew were still alive. HMS Protector also began scouring the South Atlantic as part of the international hunt for the missing vessel, and HMS Clyde was being diverted from South Georgia. Argentine officials said naval bases had detected seven incomplete satellite calls over the weekend attributed to the sub and were now trying to use them to pinpoint its location. The communication attempts "indicate that the crew is trying to re-establish contact, so we are working to locate the source of the emissions," the Argentine Navy said on its Twitter account, adding that the calls lasted between four and 36 seconds. An international team of ships and aircraft were braving heavy seas and high winds to search for the German-built ARA San Juan which has been lost since last week. Argentine navy loses contact with submarine carrying 44 01:08 The Royal Navy said it was flying the Submarine Parachute Assistance Group (SPAG) to the region to join the hunt. The highly trained team of medics, engineers and escape specialists is continuously on six hours notice to go anywhere in the world. Team members are parachute trained so that they can leap into the water at the scene if needed, but in this case will embark on HMS Protector. They carry inflatable boats and life rafts, medical equipment and communications gear which allows them to talk to trapped crews. Arrived on task in the search area in the early hours of this morning and have commenced sonar and visual search for #ARASanJuan as part of the ongoing multinational operation. Conditions remain challenging given current weather. pic.twitter.com/Sxgi9MZGo5— HMS_Protector (@protector_hms) November 19, 2017 The San Juan and its 44 crew last made contact on Wednesday when she was 267 miles off the coast in the Gulf of San Jorge. The latest possible calls were a sign for “cautious enthusiasm”, naval experts said, showing the crew may be alive, afloat and at a shallow enough depth to attempt to communicate. HMS Protector has begun sonar scans to hunt for the submarine Credit: MOD Claudio Rodriguez, whose brother Hernan is aboard the submarine, told a local television channel: "They've got to be afloat. Thank God. That gives us hope, because we knew that if they were down below, they would be screwed.” HMS Protector, the Royal Navy’s 5,000 ton ice patrol and survey ship, was diverted to join the search from a routine mission in the area and can bring its high definition sonar to bear on the search. Search and rescue mission for Argentinian submarine The hunt also includes help from Brazil, Chile, Uruguay and the United States. America on Sunday said it was sending a second P-8 Poseidon submarine hunting navy patrol plane to join the search. The US Navy has also dispatched two submarine rescue chambers that can dock onto stricken boats and ferry crew to the surface from hundreds of feet underwater. ARA San Juan submarine Credit: Argentine defence ministry/AFP The San Juan is a TR-1700 class submarine which had been returning from a routine mission to Ushuaia, near the southernmost tip of South America, to its base at Mar del Plata, about 250 miles south of Buenos Aires. Timeline | Submarine accidents Among those on board is Argentina's first female submarine officer, 35-year-old weapons officer Eliana Krawczyk. Rescuers are focusing on an ocean patch about 190 miles in diameter located about 270 miles from the coast of the southern province of Chubut.
Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri said Wednesday he had agreed to suspend his surprise decision to resign, at the request of President Michel Aoun, pending talks on the political situation. The new decision came hours after the premier landed back in Lebanon for the first time since announcing his resignation in a statement from Saudi Arabia on November 4. "I discussed my resignation with the president of the republic who asked me to wait before submitting it... and allow for more consultations," Hariri told reporters after meeting Aoun.
An anti-LGBT Republican politician who was allegedly caught having sex with a man in his office is facing more than 30 accusations of sexual misconduct. Wes Goodman, a state legislator for Ohio, has already been forced to resign after a witness to the reported extramarital affair told the Ohio House Chief of Staff. Mr Goodman, who routinely promotes “family values”, is married to a woman who is an assistant director of an annual abortion rally known as March for Life.
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