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3 months ago
Remember the 2006 movie Blood Diamond? Academy Award nominated flick starring Leo DiCaprio and Jennifer Connelly about conflict diamonds mined in African war zones and sold to diamond manufacturers to profit warlords and fund brutal wars involving shocking human rights violations? According to a report by progressive media site Toward Freedom, subtract diamonds and insert Sony's international sales-record-trouncing PlayStation 2.
Blame it on a dull black substance called coltan, also known as columbite-tantalite, also occasionally dubbed "black gold." Coltan has been a source material in the manufacture of cell phones, DVD players, computers, and you guessed it: game consoles. Earlier this month, Toward Freedom claimed the metallic ore had exacerbated a decade-old conflict in the Congo, controversially rebranding it "The PlayStation War."
The allegations include charges that hundreds of millions of dollars worth of coltan was stolen from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during its bloody 1998-2003 conflict, mostly by Rwandan military and militias supported by the Rwandan government, but also by several western-based mining companies, metal brokers, and metal processors that allegedly partnered with the Rwandan factions.
UNITED NATIONS — The International Criminal Court’s pursuit of Sudan’s president set off fierce debate at the United Nations on Friday, with the Sudanese ambassador accusing the court of trying to destabilize his country and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon expressing concern about the safety of United Nations personnel in the African nation.
Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor at the court, is expected to announce on Monday that he is seeking an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan al-Bashir of Sudan in connection with the widespread killing of civilians in the Darfur region since 2003. The United Nations estimates that the conflict has left 300,000 people dead and 2.7 million displaced, and some diplomats worry that the Sudanese will retaliate against the prosecutor’s move by evicting the relief agencies that the civilians depend on to survive.
In anticipation of Monday’s announcement, United Nations officials and diplomats said, tense meetings were held throughout the day, with China, Russia and the African Union arguing that the indictment should not proceed, and the United States and Europe countering that the judicial process had to be allowed to work independently.
BEIJING (AP) — China insists the Dalai Lama prove he doesn't support Tibetan independence or disruption of the Beijing Olympics, telling two envoys for the spiritual leader that such "positive actions" are needed before further talks, a state news agency said Thursday.
The demand made by a top Chinese official in two days of meetings indicated no change in Beijing's position toward the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who has long spoken against violence but is frequently demonized by China's Communist leadership.
Beijing has accused him and his supporters of fomenting anti-government protests that rocked Tibet and other Tibetan-inhabited areas of China in March.
The charge has been repeatedly rejected by the Tibetan government-in-exile, which said Thursday that the Dalai Lama had been "tireless" in expressing his commitment to nonviolence.
"He has also gone out of his way to publicly announce his support for the Beijing Olympics. He has even said that he would like to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics to show his support," said Thupten Samphal, a spokesman for the exile government in Dharmsala, India.