Today 19 December
By Thomas Escritt AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Prosecutors at the International Criminal Court said on Thursday they did not have enough evidence to proceed with their case against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, and asked judges to postpone it indefinitely. The development is a major setback to the court, which has seen a string of high-profile cases collapse, but it could help defuse tensions with Kenya and its African Union allies, who have long called for the charges to be dropped. In a statement, chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda said she could not proceed with the case after one witness asked to withdraw and another admitted to lying. "Currently the case against Mr Kenyatta does not satisfy the high evidentiary standards required at trial," she said.
Zimbabwe's finance minister Patrick Chinamasa on Thursday projected 6.1 percent economic growth next year despite the country's failure to meet its economic targets this year amid a perennial cash crunch. Presenting a $4.4 billion budget for 2014 to parliament, Chinamasa said the economy was expected to record "strong growth of about 6.1 percent... anchored on the strong recovery of agriculture (and the) improved performance of the mining and construction sectors." Zimbabwe came short of meeting its growth target for this year which was initially put at 5.0 percent before the government revised it downwards to 3.4 percent and even further down to 2.9 percent.
The conflict, which has so far killed up to 500 people, has alarmed South Sudan's neighbors. African mediators held talks with President Salva Kiir on Thursday to try to broker peace. The fighting that erupted around the capital Juba on Sunday night has quickly spread, pitting loyalists of the former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer, against Kiir, a member of the dominant Dinka clan. Rivals have fought fierce gunbattles over the town of Bor, north of Juba, the scene of a 1991 massacre by soldiers loyal to Machar of hundreds of Dinkas.
BRUSSELS (AP) — NATO called on European Union leaders Thursday to work on improving their defense cooperation in the face of dwindling military budgets or face American disengagement.
BANGUI, Central African Republic (AP) — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations flew into Central African Republic on Thursday in the highest profile American effort to date to spotlight violence that has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced at least 10 percent of the population.
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