Saturday, April 21, 2018
News Roundup

U.N. adopts treaty to regulate global arms trade

UNITED NATIONS — The U.N. General Assembly overwhelmingly approved the first international treaty regulating the multibillion-dollar global arms trade Tuesday, after a more than decade-long campaign to keep weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, warlords, organized crime figures and human rights violators.

Loud cheers erupted in the assembly chamber as the electronic board flashed the final vote: 154 in favor, 3 against and 23 abstentions.

"This is a victory for the world's people," U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. "The Arms Trade Treaty will make it more difficult for deadly weapons to be diverted into the illicit market. … It will be a powerful new tool in our efforts to prevent grave human rights abuses or violations of international humanitarian law."

The United States, the world's biggest arms exporter, voted yes.

Iran, North Korea and Syria — all facing arms embargoes — cast the only no votes. They argued, among other things, that the agreement favors major arms suppliers like the United States over importers that need weapons for self-defense.

Russia and China, which are also major arms exporters, abstained along with India and Indonesia, while nuclear-armed Pakistan voted in favor. Many Arab countries, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Qatar, abstained, while Lebanon voted yes.

Never before has there been a treaty regulating the global arms trade, which is estimated to be worth $60 billion today and which Amnesty International predicts will exceed $100 billion in the next four years.

"Today's victory shows that ordinary people who care about protecting human rights can fight back to stop the gun lobby dead in its tracks, helping to save countless lives," said Frank Jannuzi, deputy executive director of Amnesty International USA.

"The voices of reason triumphed over skeptics, treaty opponents and dealers in death to establish a revolutionary treaty that constitutes a major step toward keeping assault rifles, rocket-propelled grenades and other weapons out of the hands of despots and warlords who use them to kill and maim civilians, recruit child soldiers and commit other serious abuses."

What impact the treaty will actually have remains to be seen. It will take effect 90 days after 50 countries ratify it, and a lot will depend on which ones ratify and which ones don't, and how stringently it is implemented.

As for its chances of being ratified by the United States, the powerful National Rifle Association has vehemently opposed it, and it is likely to face stiff resistance from conservatives in the Senate, where it needs two-thirds to win ratification.

Secretary of State John Kerry called it a "strong, effective and implementable" treaty and stressed that it applies only to international deals and "reaffirms the sovereign right of any state to regulate arms within its territory."

The treaty prohibits countries that ratify it from exporting conventional weapons if they violate arms embargoes, or if they promote acts of genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes, or if they could be used in attacks against civilians or schools and hospitals.

Countries must also evaluate whether the weapons would be used by terrorists or organized crime or would undermine peace and security. They must take measures to prevent the weapons from being diverted to the black market.

The treaty covers battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, large-caliber artillery systems, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, warships, missiles and missile launchers, and small arms and light weapons.

Enforcement is left up to the nations that ratify it. The pact requires these countries to assist each other in investigating and prosecuting violations.

Comments
Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

Marc Topkinís takeaways from Raysí 10-1 Saturday win over Twins

* Is it time to take the leap and believe this is the real Blake Snell? He talked a good game this spring and pitched well in his debut, but that rough second outing raised old doubts. But a good outing in Chicago and two dominant ones on the homesta...
Updated: 18 minutes ago
Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

Rays Tales: How low can this team go compared to those Devil Rays days?

When the Rays, in the opening weekend of their 20th anniversary celebration season, brought back and honored the inaugural 1998 Devil Rays squad, it got us thinking unexpected thoughts, such as which was a better team:The first one, or the current on...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

Rays Journal: Team effort pays off in 10-1 win over Twins

ST. PETERSBURG – Let's be clear here, the Rays still have a long way to go, and a lot of ground to make up.But seeing them play like they did Saturday in beating the Twins 10-1, putting on a solid all-around show in cobbling their first three-g...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

Lightning-Devils: How the NHLís top offense went on the defensive

TAMPA — It was a couple of days after the Lightning beat the Bruins at home late in the regular season when associate coach Rick Bowness talked about how the defensive effort used in that shutout victory was the one the Lightning would need in ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays will go forth with four starters

Rays will go forth with four starters

ST. PETERSBURG — Three weeks was enough for the Rays to officially ditch their three-man rotation plan.Starting Sunday, they will go forth with Yonny Chirinos as their fourth starter.Which is a five-star idea.The flaws in the three-man plan ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachevís playing like a seasoned pro

Rookie? Lightning D Mikhail Sergachevís playing like a seasoned pro

TAMPA — Pardon Mikhail Sergachev if he isn't so good at one of hockey's greatest traditions. After all, growing a Stanley Cup playoff beard isn't easy when you're still just a teenager.As he stood in the Lightning locker room Saturday evening w...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bayís clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

Lightning-Devils: Grading Tampa Bayís clinching 3-1 victory in Game 3

TAMPA — Closers.That's what the Lightning looked like as it closed out the New Jersey Devils in five games with a 3-1 win Saturday.Nikita Kucherov's star power blazed again, the defense controlled the game and not even Jersey goaltend...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

Lightning stays patient, even through 0-for-5 power-play drought

TAMPA — The Lightning so dominated the second period Saturday that the Devils had more penalties (five) than shots on goal (four), and yet Tampa Bay was unable to build on a 1-0 lead as they sought to clinch the opening-round series.Nowhere was...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Nikita Kucherovís goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

Nikita Kucherovís goal sets Lightning playoff series scoring record

TAMPA — After clinging to a 1-0 lead for more than two periods Saturday, the Lightning got a long-awaited cushion — and ultimately the winning goal — when Nikita Kucherov scored with 7:33 left in the final period of a 3-1 victo...
Updated: 3 hours ago
New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

New Port Richey Woman dies in single-car crash on SR 580

A 49-year-old woman died early Saturday in a single-car crash on State Road 580.Kristin Carlin, of New Port Richey, was driving in the eastbound lanes of SR 580 when she failed to round a curve and veered off the road near Charles Avenue, a Clearwate...
Updated: 3 hours ago