Monday, May 28, 2018

Court convicts former Congolese warlord of using child soldiers

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — The International Criminal Court in the Hague found former Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga guilty Wednesday of using children as soldiers, the first verdict in the panel's 10-year history. He could face life imprisonment.

After a three-year trial, the court convicted Lubanga of recruiting boys and girls as soldiers during a civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2002 and 2003.

The verdict was seen as a major breakthrough in forcing warlords and politicians to be accountable for atrocities and crimes against humanity, sending a message that international justice eventually would catch up with them.

Three victims gave evidence during the trial, while others participated indirectly, such as by making submissions to the court. The evidence said girls forcibly recruited by Lubanga were used as sex slaves, while videos aired in court showed Lubanga surrounded by child combatants.

The verdict sent a clear message that recruiting and using children as combatants or sex slaves is a crime against humanity. Tens of thousands of children continue to be used in wars across the continent, according to humanitarian agencies.

The defendant claimed he had discouraged the use of children in combat, an assertion rejected by the court.

Other African leaders or warlords indicted by the court include Joseph Kony, of the Lords Resistance Army, whose activities in Uganda were highlighted in a video that got about 70 million views last week. He is thought to be hiding in the Central African Republic.

Comments
Live Coverage: Alberto bears down on Florida Panhandle

Live Coverage: Alberto bears down on Florida Panhandle

Here’s the latest.First, a look at the radar over Florida as of 5 a.m. Monday. For a look at the live, interactive radar, click here.[ Meteorologists are calling Alberto a ‘subtropical storm.’ What the heck is that? ]Radar showing S...
Updated: 8 minutes ago

Forecast: Alberto leaves clouds, rain in its wake for Tampa Bay

ST. PETERSBURG — While some Tampa Bay residents were pleasantly surprised to catch a glimpse of some Sunday afternoon sunshine while Subtropical Storm Alberto loomed in the Gulf of Mexico, that doesn’t bring the promise of a beach day to end the Memo...
Updated: 13 minutes ago
PolitiFact Florida: Did Adam Putnam oppose putting troops on the border using the National Guard?

PolitiFact Florida: Did Adam Putnam oppose putting troops on the border using the National Guard?

In Florida’s Republican primary for governor, U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis challenged Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam’s credibility on illegal immigration.DeSantis cast Putnam as not being conservative enough on immigration in a chat May 2 with radio ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hillsborough’s film incentive has attracted $1.17 million in local spending, audits show

Hillsborough’s film incentive has attracted $1.17 million in local spending, audits show

TAMPA — When Steve Matzkin agreed to serve as executive producer on a movie project titled Not Alone, he set a condition: It had to be made in Tampa.For starters, the community is a fitting backdrop for the independent horror film about a family who ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Unflinching sentinel stood and walked to honor the fallen at Arlington’s tomb

Unflinching sentinel stood and walked to honor the fallen at Arlington’s tomb

Monday morning, thousands of people will make their way to Arlington National Cemetery for the Memorial Day wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many more will watch on TV.The cube-shaped marble monument high on a grassy hill is...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Daystarter: Alberto takes aim on Panhandle; how local Starbucks handle trespassing; Arlington National Cemetery’s Sentinels; Shania Twain here this week

The Daystarter: Alberto takes aim on Panhandle; how local Starbucks handle trespassing; Arlington National Cemetery’s Sentinels; Shania Twain here this week

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• As Subtropical Storm Alberto continues on its north-northwest track to the Panhandle, today’s forecast for Tampa Bay calls for scattered to numerous showers and thunderstorms, accordi...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Italy's president taps economist Carlo Cottarelli as premier-designate after populist bid to govern fails

Italy's president taps economist Carlo Cottarelli as premier-designate after populist bid to govern fails
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Elderly man killed in flooding in Britain

The Latest: Elderly man killed in flooding in Britain

British police say that an elderly man has died after his car was submerged in water during the heavy flooding that has hit England
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT

AP News in Brief at 6:04 a.m. EDT
Updated: 2 hours ago

Palestinian leader leaves hospital after weeklong stay

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discharged from a West Bank hospital after his latest health scare
Updated: 2 hours ago