International Briefs

War crimes prosecutor seeks arrest of Israeli and Hamas leaders

JERUSALEM (AP) — The chief prosecutor of the world’s top war crimes court is seeking arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Karim Khan of the International Criminal Court on Monday accused Netanyahu, his defense minister, and three Hamas leaders for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Gaza Strip and Israel. The announcement was a symbolic blow that deepened Israel’s isolation over the war in Gaza. Israeli leaders condemned the move as disgraceful and antisemitic. Hamas also rejected the accusations. A panel of judges will consider the prosecutor’s evidence and decide whether to issue the arrest warrants and allow a case to proceed.

Iran’s president and foreign minister die in helicopter crash

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s foreign minister have been found dead hours after their helicopter crashed in fog. That leaves the Islamic Republic without two key leaders as extraordinary tensions grip the wider Middle East. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei quickly named a little-known vice president as caretaker Monday. The supreme leader has the final say in the Shiite theocracy. He insisted the government was in control, but the deaths mark yet another blow to a country beset by pressures both at home and abroad. Iran has offered no cause for the crash nor suggested sabotage brought down the helicopter. It fell in mountainous terrain in a sudden, intense fog.

Ex-South African leader Zuma disqualified from next week’s election

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Former South African President Jacob Zuma has been disqualified from running for a seat in Parliament in next week’s national election because of a previous criminal conviction. The decision by the country’s highest court is certain to raise political tensions ahead of a pivotal vote in Africa’s most advanced economy. Zuma once led South Africa’s ruling African National Congress party but was forced out as its leader and resigned as president in 2018 under a cloud of corruption allegations. He has reemerged with a new political party challenging his former allies. The ANC might be forced into a coalition government for the first time.

Condition of Slovakia’s PM improves following an assassination attempt

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (AP) — Slovak populist Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is improving following an assassination attempt last week that shocked the European Union nation deeply polarized over his policies. The hospital treating Fico in the central city of Banská Bystrica says Fico’s “clinically improving, communicating, inflammatory parameters are slowly decreasing.” It said Fico remains hospitalized in the clinic for the time being. Monday’s announcement came a day after the clinic announced that Fico, 59, was no longer in life threating condition after he was shot in the abdomen in the town of Handlova, nearly 85 miles northeast of the capital, Bratislava.


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