Germany's federal prosecutor will not pursue a criminal complaint accusing US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld of war crimes in Iraq.
He's got a reason to smile
Even though a German law requires German prosecutors to investigate allegations of war crimes even if they are not committed by Germans or in Germans, German Federal Prosecutor Kay Nehm said US authorities bore the initial responsibility to do so.
He added that his office could only act if US officials failed to do so, but said this was not the case. A US organization called Center for Constitutional Rights had filed the complained against Rumsfeld and other high-ranking officials in Germany for the role they played in torture and abuse at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
Will Rumsfeld come to Munich?
It was still unclear on Thursday whether Rumsfeld, who is currently in Nice, France for a meeting of NATO defense ministers, would now attend Munich's international Conference on Security Policy, which is scheduled to begin on Friday.
Conference organizers said on Wednesday that Rumsfeld's deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, will attend the conference, which will be guarded by around 4,000 police officers. No fewer than eight demonstrations are planned around the venue, police said.
The annual meeting was scheduled to open in Munich on Friday with an emphasis on hopes for peace in the Middle East and the role of the United Nations.
Annan gets award
UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will attend the three-day conference for the first time. He will be presented with the conference's Peace Plaque awarded to international personalities who stand for special peace initiatives reflecting the motto of the conference, "Peace through Dialogue."
German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer will also attend the conference, as will NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer.
Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko has backed Arseny Yatsenyuk for a new term as prime minister. Meanwhile, pro-Russia separatists in eastern Ukraine are set to hold their own elections.
Smoke was seen billowing from Maison de la Radio in Paris, the home to Radio France, after a fire broke out on the seventh floor forcing the buiding's evacuation. One employee said "no fire alarm was sounded."
Russia's central bank has announced it's raising its main lending rate by a higher-than-expected margin. Officials said the move was necessitated by a weak ruble and high inflation as Western sanctions hit the nation.