Thursday, July 24 2014 12:44 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:44:49 GMT
Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov...More >>
Linda Close was grateful to learn she qualified for a sizable subsidy to help pay for her health insurance under the new federal law. But in the process of signing up for a plan, Close said her HealthCare.gov account...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:38:53 GMT
Sen. John Walsh said his unattributed use of others' work in his master's thesis was not plagiarism but "a few citations that were unintentionally left out of a term paper" that he blamed in part on...More >>
Montana Gov. Steve Bullock says he didn't know that Sen. John Walsh had plagiarized parts of his master's thesis when he appointed the former National Guard general to the Senate earlier this year.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:38 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:38:21 GMT
A condemned murderer took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during an execution in Arizona that quickly rekindled the national debate on capital punishment in the U.S.More >>
The nation's third execution in six months to go awry rekindled the debate over the death penalty and handed potentially new evidence to those building a case against lethal injection as cruel and unusual punishment.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 11:52 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:52:42 GMT
Virginia State Police say two were killed and at least 20 injured when a fierce storm slammed a campground on the state's Eastern Shore.More >>
A fierce storm packing powerful winds and rain toppled trees and flipped campers Thursday at a Virginia campground Thursday, killing at least two people and sending at least 20 more to hospitals, officials said.More >>
By MIKE CORDER Associated Press
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) - A court on Wednesday ordered the Netherlands to compensate the families of more than 300 Bosnian Muslims killed after Dutch troops handed them over to Bosnian Serb forces in 1995, in a ruling that could make countries more leery to contribute troops to peacekeeping missions.
The civil court in The Hague cleared the Netherlands of liability in the massacre of nearly 8,000 others, saying that although those people sought protection in the U.N. safe haven of Srebrenica they were never directly in the custody of the Dutch troops.
The ruling could be appealed, however, meaning it's unlikely to resolve the Dutch national trauma over the country's role in the worst massacre on European soil since World War II.
The court ruled that the Dutch peacekeeping troops could have protected the 300-plus men and boys who were among thousands of Muslims - mainly women, children and elderly people - taking shelter in a Dutch compound inside the U.N.-declared safe haven of Srebrenica.
The troops - part of a Dutch U.N. battalion known as Dutchbat - handed over those in the compound two days after the town fell. The Bosnian Serb troops then killed the Muslim men and boys, who "would have survived if Dutchbat had acted properly," said Presiding Judge Larissa Alwin.
The court said the Netherlands could not be held responsible for people who had taken shelter in the town but who were not inside the Dutch compound. Those included thousands of other Bosnian Muslim men and boys who fled into the nearby forests when the town fell and were later rounded up and killed by Bosnian Serb forces.
"Dutchbat cannot be held liable for their fate," the ruling read.
In an emotionally charged hearing attended by a handful of victims' relatives, Alwin said the peacekeepers should have known that the men taken from the compound would be slain because there was already evidence of the Serbs committing war crimes.
"By cooperating in the deportation of these men, Dutchbat acted unlawfully," Alwin said.
On July 13, 1995, the peacekeepers bowed to pressure from Bosnian Serb forces commanded by Gen. Ratko Mladic and forced thousands of Muslim families out of their fenced-off compound.
The Bosnian Serb forces sorted the Muslims by gender, then trucked the males away and began killing them in what would become the bloody climax to the 1992-95 Bosnian war, a slaughter that international courts have ruled was genocide. The war claimed 100,000 lives in all.
The Srebrenica bodies were plowed into hastily made mass graves, which were later bulldozed and scattered among other burial sites in an attempt to hide the evidence.
Relatives of the dead welcomed the limited finding of liability Wednesday, but lamented that it did not go further.
"Obviously the court has no sense of justice," said Munira Subasic, president of the Mothers of Srebrenica group that filed the case. "How is it possible to divide victims, and tell one mother that the Dutch state is responsible for the death of her son on one side of the wire and not for the son on the other side?"
The court did not say how much compensation the families should receive. That will be worked out between lawyers and the government once any appeals have run their course. A lawyer for the relatives, Marco Gerritsen, said he would study the 89-page ruling before deciding whether to appeal.
It remains to be seen what effect the ruling will have on U.N. recruitment for peacekeeping missions.
Defense Ministry spokesman Klaas Meijder said the Dutch government began insisting on stricter safeguards for its troops involved in U.N. missions after the Srebrenica massacre, but wouldn't speculate on whether Wednesday's ruling would have a further impact.
"What this means for future missions, I can't say," he said.
But analysts said the judgment could add to increasing concerns among Western nations about their involvement in peacekeeping missions.
"Peacekeeping for quite a long time has been deeply fragile. Traditional donors have been pulling back," said David Connolly of The Hague Institute for Global Justice.
The United Nations itself is exempt from prosecution. Earlier in the long-running case, judges said relatives of the victims could not sue the U.N. itself because its immunity is a cornerstone of peacekeeping operations.
U.N. deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said Wednesday that the organization would need to study the ruling before commenting on it.
The Dutch peacekeepers' involvement in the Srebrenica massacre has long been a source of national trauma. In 2002, the government of then-Prime Minister Wim Kok resigned following a report that blamed Dutch authorities and the U.N. for sending ill-equipped troops without a strong enough mandate to prevent the slaughter in Bosnia.
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thursday, July 24 2014 1:02 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:02:11 GMT
Israeli tanks and warplanes are pummeling the Gaza Strip as U.S. and other diplomats push for a cease-fire with Hamas militants.More >>
Israeli tank shells hit a compound housing a U.N. school in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens who were seeking shelter from fierce clashes on the streets outside, Palestinian...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 11:48 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:48:35 GMT
The official Algerian news agency says an Air Algerie flight from Burkina Faso to Algiers has disappeared from the radar.More >>
An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, officials said. France's foreign minister said no wreckage had been found,...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:26:28 GMT
For the first time in more than 30 years, paleontologists are preparing excavate a sinkhole-type cave in northern Wyoming that contains the ancient remains of tens of thousands of animals.More >>
For the first time in three decades, scientists are about to revisit one of North America's most remarkable troves of ancient fossils: the bones of tens of thousands of animals piled at least 30 feet deep at the bottom...More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 1:01 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:01:39 GMT
Iraqi officials say militants have attacked a prisoner convoy north of Baghdad, killing 52 prisoners and eight soldiers.More >>
Islamic extremist militants blew up a revered Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah in Iraq's second-largest city, Mosul, on Thursday, residents of the city said.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:55 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:55:03 GMT
The Peace Corps says it is suspending its operations in Kenya and pulling out more than 50 volunteers because of security concerns.More >>
The Peace Corps is suspending its programs in Kenya because of security concerns and is pulling more than 50 volunteers out of the country until threat levels decrease, the Peace Corps and State Department said Thursday.More >>
Thursday, July 24 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-07-24 04:31:15 GMT
Someone has replaced two American flags on the Brooklyn Bridge with mysterious white flags.More >>
Police are searching for four or five people they believe scaled to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge's two towers in the dead of night, disabled lights illuminating two large American flags and then replaced the flags...More >>