The International Criminal Court on Monday issued a warrant for the arrest of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and his son Seif al-Islam on charges relating to the deaths of civilians during the four-month-old rebellion. The charges center primarily around the initial weeks of the upheaval, when prosecutors allege he directly mandated the attacks. Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim rejected the arrest order, saying The Hague has “no legitimacy whatsoever,” adding that “[a]ll of its activities are directed at African leaders.”
On Monday, loud explosions believed to be caused by NATO air strikes shook the area near his Bab al-Aziziya compound, though Gadhafi himself is not believed to be staying there.
Speaking to reporters in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said, “Mr. Gadhafi knows perfectly well what he must do for peace to return. It only depends on him.”
Syrian Opposition Leaders Meet in Damascus
Almost 200 opposition figures met in Damascus Monday for meetings allowed by government officials, a move some said diluted the vision of protesters calling on President Bashar Assad to step down. Leaders at the meeting say no government representatives were involved in the talks.
According to The Associated Press, “[S]ome opposition figures and activists, both inside Syria and abroad, dismissed the meeting of 190 critics as an opportunity for the government to convey a false impression it’s allowing space for dissent, rather than cracking down.”
In a speech last week, Assad said he would pave the way for other political parties besides the Baath Party and deliver other reforms in an effort to appease the opposition movement.
The meeting included figures who had been imprisoned by the government for years.
Refugees continue to amass near the border and inside of neighboring Turkey amid crackdowns on restive towns in northern Syria.
4,000 Homes Flooded in Minot as Recovery Efforts Begin
(See video from North Dakota)
One day after the Souris River in Minot, N.D., crested at more than 1,561 feet above sea level Sunday morning — exceeding a record set in 1881 — residents are grappling with the aftermath of the extensive flooding, filling recovery centers and tapping into assistance programs. An estimated 4,000 homes had flood-related damage. Most of those homes were not insured for flood damage.
“We know that we have a tremendous recovery effort coming,” said Gov. Jack Dalrymple. It could take more than a month for water levels to recede.
Residents were told not to enter the evacuated area and to boil tap water before drinking it.
2 Troops Killed in Iraq; June the Deadliest Month for U.S. Troops in 2 Years
Two U.S. troops died in Iraq Sunday, bringing the total for the month of June to 11 and making it the deadliest month in two years. The news come as U.S. forces prepare to exit Iraq by the end of the year, and raise new questions about the uptick in violence directed at them. Iraqi officials have debated asking for an extension of that deadline.
Details of the attack were not formally released, but the deaths were believed to be a result of hostile action and to have taken place in Northern Iraq.
Also on Suday, a suicide bomber killed two police and injured 17 in an attack on a police station.