Former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali dead at 93
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, accomplished Egyptian diplomat who served as United Nations secretary-general for one term from 1992 to 1996, passed away at 93 on Feb. 16 at a Cairo hospital after breaking his pelvis. Boutros-Ghali was the first U.N. chief from Africa and the only secretary-general to serve a single term after stepping down amidst a clash with the Clinton administration and an attempt to reform the U.N. He negotiated a landmark peace deal with Israel in 1979 while serving as a diplomat, and his grandfather, Boutros Ghali Pasha, served as Egypt’s prime minister from 1908 to 1910.
Indian police arrest student union president on sedition charges
Following a rally against hanging of Mohammed Afzal Guru in 2013, police arrested Kanhaiya Kumar, president of the student union at Delhi’s Jawaharlal Nehru University, for allegedly using anti-India slogans. University professors condemned Kumar’s arrest as a display of “excessive police action” and called for police to release Kumar, saying his arrest only aggravated the situation. Kumar was in police custody for three days and denied the charges against him, saying, “I dissociate myself from the slogans which were shouted in the event. I have full faith in the Constitution of the country.” Afzal Guru, convicted in 2001 for plotting to attack India’s parliament, denied involvement in the attack that left 14 dead. Correspondents confirmed a recent increase in the number of sedition charges in India.
Police perform one of the largest drug busts in Australian history
Authorities seized $900 million worth of liquid methamphetamine bound for Hong Kong smuggled in imported silicon bra inserts, Australian federal police said. After a three-month long anti-drug operation that concluded in December, authorities found nearly 190 liters of the drug hidden in thousands of bra inserts and hundreds more liters, as well as crystal meth, hidden in art supplies, estimating the total value at $1 billion. Police arrested three Hong Kong nationals and one Chinese national, charging them for importation and manufacture of the drug.
Israel imprisons former prime minister
Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, 70, became Israel’s first premier to go to jail, beginning his 19-month imprisonment for bribery and obstruction of justice last week. Olmert entered Maasiyahu prison after his bribery conviction in 2014, in which he was accused of accepting bribes in exchange for promoting a real-estate project while he was mayor of Jerusalem and trade minister, prior to becoming prime minister. In a three-and-a-half minute video Olmert released the day before going to prison, he accepted his sentence but emphasized his attempts “to create an opening for hope and a better future of peace, happiness and well-being” while prime minister, rejecting the corruption charges. Olmert was prime minister of Israel from 2006 to 2009, when he resigned because of the corruption allegations.
Bosnia applies for EU membership
President Dragan Covic submitted Bosnia’s application for European Union membership to Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister in Brussels, hoping that the EU will grant Bosnia candidate status within a year. Brussels, located in The Netherlands, currently holds the EU presidency and said Bosnia would need to improve its economy, judicial system, public administration and political institutions, among other aspects of society, after a brutal war in the 1990s divided the country along ethnic lines and destroyed its economy. Despite the signing of a Stabilization and Association Agreement with the EU trading bloc in 2008, unresolved ethnic tensions has prevented any possibility of reform, causing a 40-percent unemployment rate. In 2014, nearly 70,000 Bosnians left the country in search of economic opportunity.
Great Britain to introduce new sexting guidelines
To avoid criminalizing minors who send sexually explicit photos to each other, the National Police Chiefs Council in England and Wales announced that it was developing new guidelines for reporting children who sext consensually. The council will send the rules to schools and police; the rules will advise teachers on when to report sexting to police. Parents and professionals will be able to exercise their own judgments. Current Home Office rules state that individuals must report any incidence of sexting to police. Taking and sending indecent photos under 18 is illegal in England and Wales, even if the sender and recipient are both under 18. A 2015 report showed that police investigated 1,000 minors for sexting between 2012 and 2014.