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Morning Brief: Wanted for war crimes

Top Story The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is charged with orchestrating crimes against humanity in Darfur. It is the ICC’s first warrant issued for a sitting head of state. The court plans to submit plans to Sudan for Bashir’s surrender in the coming days. 300,000 ...

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Top Story

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is charged with orchestrating crimes against humanity in Darfur. It is the ICC's first warrant issued for a sitting head of state. The court plans to submit plans to Sudan for Bashir's surrender in the coming days. 300,000 have been killed in Darfur with millions more displaced, according to the U.N.

The warrant won't come as much of a surprise for Bashir who yesterday told the court they could "eat it." The president is certain to resist the charges and his top allies seem committed to sticking with him.

Top Story

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who is charged with orchestrating crimes against humanity in Darfur. It is the ICC’s first warrant issued for a sitting head of state. The court plans to submit plans to Sudan for Bashir’s surrender in the coming days. 300,000 have been killed in Darfur with millions more displaced, according to the U.N.

The warrant won’t come as much of a surprise for Bashir who yesterday told the court they could “eat it.” The president is certain to resist the charges and his top allies seem committed to sticking with him.

There are fears that the agreement could jeopardize ongoing talks between the government and Darfur rebels and even undo the fragile peace agreement between North and South Sudan. In an interview with the L.A. Times, Southern Sudanese leader Salva Kiir called for calm but said that in the event of renewed violence, “I’m a soldier. I’m prepared.”

The ICC’s senior prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo spoke about the case in a recent interview with FP

Middle East

Hillary Clinton traveled to the West Bank to meet with Palestinian Authority leaders.

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei says Barack Obama is on the “wrong path” in the Middle East.

The U.S. is sending two senior diplomats to open negotiations with Syria this week. David Kenner comments on Passport.

Asia

Afghanistan’s electoral commission ruled that presidential elections cannot be moved up to April, as President Hamid Karzai had wanted.

Sri Lanka’s cricket team returned home from Pakistan after yesterday’s deadly attack. Pakistan has already made arrests in the case.

China will boost its defense spending by 15 percent in 2009.

Europe

Obama denied making a quid pro quo offer to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev over missile defense and Iran. Medvedev said he would be willing to discuss the two issues separately. 

Ukrainian authorities raided the offices of the country’s natural gas monopoly.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and eight of his top aides have been receiving mysterious death threats.

Americas

The New York Times‘ David Leonhardt crunches the data on how the recession is affecting different regions of the U.S.

Cuban-American New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez is holding up two key Obama appointments over a bill that would ease restrictions on Cuba.

Concerns are growing over newly elected GOP Chairman Michael Steele.  

Africa

Guinea-Bissau’s new president is asking for international help to stabilize his country after the assassination of his predecessor.

Jeffrey Gettleman reports on the new calm in rebel-free parts of Eastern Congo.

Correction: The original title of this post was “Wanted for genocide.” The brief was posted before the actual list of charges was reported. Bashir was actually charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity but not genocide. Apologies for any confusion.

BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy  Twitter: @joshuakeating

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