5 Minute International Update 01/11/2013

UN deployment to Mali, Mali has declared a national state of emergency, US is considering logistical and intelligence support but no discussion of direct involvement

President Obama says that US troops will hand over security to Afghanistan in the spring of 2013, much sooner than expected

Syrian troops retake part of Damascus, Russia and the US have been in Geneva discussing Syria: but there is (surprise!) no solution, more than 50 countries are urging the UN Security Council to send Syria to the International Criminal Court (opening the country up to war crime prosecution)

France has committed to troops in Mali with the UN mission, a French helicopter pilot has already been killed in combat, about 4 hours after committing troops to Mali – 2 French commandos were killed during a rescue mission of a French hostage in Somalia, 17 militants and 2 civilians were killed, the operation failed to rescue intelligence officer Denis Allex who was kidnapped by the al-Shabab in July 2009 he was dead

45,000 people attended a peaceful opposition rally in Malaysia, they demanded transparency for upcoming elections in June

Russian security forces in Daghestan killed 2 suspected militants in a raid (the area is known for regular clashes between Islamists and police… militants are quoted wanting to establish an Islamist state on the southern border or Russia)

Saudi Arabia grants women seats on the top advisory council

Ethnic rebels fighting the Burmese army in the northern region of the country claim to have shot down a military helicopter, but the government claims the crash was due to engine failure

In Central African Republic, rebels and the government have come to an agreement which will allow the current President Bozize to finish his term which ends in 2016, in return the President will dissolve the current government so a national unity government can be formed by a Prime Minister chosen by the political opposition, the agreement also includes an obvious cease-fire

Greece approved new tax legislation aiming to boost state revenues by $3 billion this year (the legislation was expected as part of the country’s commitments to its international bailout)

Police in Argentina brought down a major international child pornography ring, 64 people have been charged