SPOTLIGHT: CHAD, THE TIME OF JUSTICE
Since the post-War trials of Nazi leaders in Nuremberg, the world has wrestled with the task of bringing the worst of humanity to account for their crimes. It is a challenge that requires both courage from the individual victims and a commitment to justice by society at large. It also, in some cases, requires an abundance of patience and determination. By the time a court in Senegal sentenced Hissene Habre to life in jail yesterday for war crimes and crimes against humanity, Chad's former dictator had been out of power for more than 25 years. The decision by authorities in Senegal — where Habre had taken refuge in 1990 after a coup — to arrest him in 2013 was key to the conviction, but observers also noted the decades of work by activists and victims, both inside and outside of Chad, who never gave up on the case.
Now 73, Habre reigned over his country with what the judges said was "a system where impunity and terror were the law." Some 40,000 people were killed and many others kidnapped, raped and tortured during his eight-year term as president of Chad. Beyond the scale of his crime, one particularly powerful part of the verdict was the judges' ruling that Habre had personally raped Khadidja Hassan four times.
Many of the defeated despots of history wind up dead by their own hand (Hitler, Pol Pot) or those of their enemies (Mussolini, Richard III). But when men and women of peace mete out justice in an open court of law, it sends a message of progress — and persistence — to both the good and evil people of this world.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- François Hollande inaugurates the 81-million-euro Cité du Vin in Bordeaux. 450,000 visitors a year expected.
- Soccer star Lionel Messi and his father go on trial in Spain for alleged tax fraud.
NORTH KOREAN MISSILE FAIL
Another North Korean ballistic missile test has failed, South Korean officials told Reuters this morning. Tension has risen in the region since Pyongyang conducted its fourth nuclear test in January.
— ON THIS DAY
What do Ramesses II and Seinfeld have in common? They're both in today's 57-second shot of history!
ISIS SURROUNDED IN FALLUJAH
An Iraqi general this morning declared that the city of Fallujah, which has been held by ISIS since 2014, is surrounded and set to fall to government forces. More from CNN
BRAZIL MINISTER RESIGNS IN LATEST CORRUPTION MESS
A second minister (Transparency Minister Fabiano Silveira) has resigned in Brazil, 19 days into the new interim government, after leaked recordings suggesting he was planning to interfere with the "Lava Jato" anti-corruption probe , Folha de S. Paulo reports.
Brian Molina and Maximiliano Fernández, two of Argentina's emerging rap stars, met in jail. Writing for Argentine daily Clarin, Nahuel Gallotta tells their story: "Molina cannot remember how many times he had been detained by police for some offense or the other, how many times he had been packed off to an institution and how many of them he's fled. One time, when he was 13, Molina was jailed with three gunshot wounds. He heard about a Freestyle event, where people gather to improvise with rap, and he escaped to participate, Molina recalled, one of the many times he did so for music. His performance won him prizes, and he became known on the rap scene. ... But at 18, Molina was back at Marcos Paz's prison wing for those aged 18 to 21. There, he met Maximiliano Fernández, then 19. Fernández had begun to steal at 13, and had learned to play the guitar at 15, when he was housed at a psychiatric ward. Like Molina, he too had written songs while locked up."
Read the full article here, Two Friends, Prison Time And Breakout Rap In Buenos Aires.
"We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate," former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in a podcast released Monday, the AP reports. Holder added that he still thought that "the way he did it was inappropriate and illegal," and that the whistleblower should "come on back and decide what he wants to do — go to trial, try to cut a deal."
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
The Other Island Of Tears — Minsk, 2001
GOLDEN STATE BACK FROM BRINK
Defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors won its third consecutive game against the Oklahoma City Thunder to return from near elimination and qualify for the finals against the Cleveland Warriors. Read more from Sports Illustrated.
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WHO DOESN'T LOVE CHEESE ROLLING?
All there is to know on this year's edition of the only race worth watching, really. Courtesy of the Gloucestershire Echo.