The Record: This Week in Review

Uganda Calls off Search for Kony

Uganda has suspended the search for warlord Joseph Kony in the Central African Republic (CAR), blaming “hostility” from its new government. Kony, leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is wanted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes. The Ugandan forces are in the CAR under an African Union mandate, assisted by soldiers from other African nations, as well as US special forces.

Sudan frees political prisoners

Seven political prisoners have been freed in Sudan a day after President Omar al-Bashir ordered the release of all political detainees. Last month, Bashir said he would step down at the next election in 2015 because Sudan needed “fresh blood.” Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) related to the decade-long conflict in Darfur. Correspondents say it is unclear who was covered by the declaration and whether it included all the several hundred opposition and rebel detainees believed to be in jail.

Russian authorities raid Human Rights Watch Offices

Russian authorities searched Moscow offices of Human Rights Watch as part of a wave of hundreds of inspections that activists say is a campaign to silence criticism of President Vladimir Putin. Since returning to the Kremlin in May, Putin has tightened controls on NGOs, requiring those with foreign funding to register as “foreign agents” – a term echoing, for some, Stalin-era political repressions and Cold War spying. The Kremlin says it is working to prevent foreign governments meddling in Russian politics.

World Bank President Commits to Ending Extreme Poverty

The new goal presented to the international community by Jim Yong Kim is to end extreme poverty by 2030. The World Bank’s poverty fighting mission is guided by this new goal, as development programs will now be prioritized to help improve the lives of vulnerable people in developing countries.

EU On Track to Reach Its 2020 Emissions Reduction Target

The European Union’s carbon market has managed to achieve a 1.4 % reduction in emissions during 2012. This is the second consecutive year in which the EU’s emissions have decreased.

BRICS Nations Form the “Big Five” 

A recent two-day summit in South Africa saw Britain, Russia, India, China and South Africa come together to discuss a development bank plan. A decision was made to enter into formal negotiations to establish a BRICS led new development bank, which is based on nations own infrastructure needs.

IMF Says Euro Zone Still Has Weaknesses to Address

In a 60-page report, the International Monetary Fund said that the Euro Zone needs to do more to address the Euro’s vulnerabilities.  In particular, Europe needs determine how it can wind down failed banks and how it can guarantee depositor investments.

American Banks in Europe Consider Options in Face of EU Bonus Caps

American banks in London are considering their options after the EU voted to impose a cap on the bonuses earned by bankers.  The cap applies to senior management and traders.  While some have grumbled that this could be another reason to consider moving operations to Dubai or South Africa, JPMorgan is considering granting its employees “allowances” to cover living and housing expenses.  However, such payments might still be treated as bonuses under the law.

Cypriot Finance Minister Resigns

Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris resigned on Tuesday, after concluding talks with foreign lenders on a bailout agreement that led to losses for bank depositors in exchange for aid.  Mr. Sarris stated that he resigned because he had accomplished his goal of securing the bailout and because he faces scrutiny for the collapse of the Cypriot banking system.  Harris Georgiades, who previously served as Labor Minister and Deputy-Finance Minister, has been appointed to succeed Mr. Sarris.

China Unhappy with US Rule on IT Imports and Cyber-espionage

The US recently announced new cyber-security rules that will limit imports of Chinese-made IT products.  China objected to the rule, calling it a “discriminatory” action against Chinese companies.  The rule requires NASA, the US Department of Justice, and the US Department of Commerce to seek approval from national law enforcement authorities before purchasing IT systems from Chinese firms.