n. kOREA FACES NEW SANCTIONS OVER launch
The U.N. Security Council officially censured North Korea on Monday over the failed rocket launching of a satellite last week, saying it "strongly condemns" the action and had ordered its sanctions committee to expand the blacklist of North Korean goods, companies and individuals connected to that country's nuclear and missile programs. "The Security Council underscores that this satellite launch, as well as any launch that uses ballistic missile technology, even if characterized as a satellite launch or space launch vehicle, is a serious violation" of measures adopted against North Korea in 2006 and 2009, the council said in a measure known as a presidential statement. Such statements do not carry the diplomatic weight of a council resolution. But the council's unanimous response and its quickness to act underscored the near total isolation that North Korea's new leader, Kim Jong Un, faces over the issue.
Full access urged for U.N. observers
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon said Monday that the Syrian government is responsible for guaranteeing U.N. observers full freedom of movement to monitor a tenuous cease-fire, which appeared to be unraveling as regime forces pounded the opposition stronghold of Homs, activists said. An advance team of six observers arrived in Syria on Sunday to negotiate the mission's ground rules with authorities. Ban, speaking in Brussels, called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to ensure the observers' work is not hindered.
Self-defense claim in killings of 77
The self-described anti-Islamic militant who admitted killing 77 people last year, including many youths at a summer camp, went on trial Monday in Oslo, Norway. In the courtroom, Anders Behring Breivik, 33, proclaimed that he had acted in self-defense, bore no criminal guilt and rejected the authority of the court. Breivik's trial is set to last 10 weeks.
New Orleans: A federal judge extended from Monday to Wednesday a deadline for BP and a team of plaintiffs' attorneys to file details of a proposed settlement designed to resolve billions of dollars in economic damage claims spawned by the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.