General says killing in Mali not confirmed
The general commanding troops from Chad in a French-Chadian operation in northern Mali said Sunday that he could not yet confirm the death of a principal Islamist leader, Moktar Belmoktar, a day after his government announced it on Chad's national television. "It's still conditional," said Gen. Oumar Bikomo. "I can't confirm it." Chad's soldiers attacked and destroyed a major base of the Islamist fighters Saturday morning, Bikomo said, killing about 60. One of them might have been Belmoktar, the man who commanded a deadly raid on the gas-processing complex in the Algerian desert in January.
Premier promises to end ivory trade
The prime minister of Thailand pledged Sunday to end the nation's ivory trade, responding to growing calls from international wildlife groups desperate to stop the slaughter of African elephants. Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra made the promise during the opening meeting of the 178-nation Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species in Bangkok. Thailand is believed to be the second-biggest market for illicit elephant tusks, after China.
Syria: Syrian rebels must give up their weapons before the government will agree to hold peace talks with them, President Bashar Assad said in a newspaper interview published in Britain's Sunday Times. The stance would seem to dim the already cloudy prospects for peace talks.
Switzerland: Swiss voters voiced their anger at perceived corporate greed Sunday by approving a plan to give shareholders a say on the overall pay packages for executives and directors.