US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and former CIA director George Tennet no longer have reason to fear for their freedom should they decide on a trip to Germany. A state court in Stuttgart ruled Thursday that German federal prosecutor Kay Nehm is not required to prosecute the two men for war crimes in relation to the abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib in 2003 and 2004. The court decided against a petition from a group of lawyers and human rights organizations called the Republican Lawyers Association, which was representing 17 alleged torture victims. The Stuttgart court said Nehm adequately evaluated the case and approved his refusal of it in February. At the time, Nehm said it was not up to a third state to prosecute the charges, as they are already being investigated in the United States. The group of lawyers criticized the decision, saying the US investigation deals only with a handful of low-ranking American soldiers, not any high-ranking officials and leaves the "victims of the worst crimes without any legal protection."
Colombian Nobel prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died in Mexico aged 87. He was most famous for his masterpiece 'One Hundred Years of Solitude', for which he won the prize in 1982.
The tug-of-war in the Ukraine continues. As Russia seeks to exert its influence in the former Soviet republic after successfully annexing Crimea, the EU and the US hope to anchor the country in the West.
Russian President Putin has said that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war. Are his words just posturing in order to put the West under pressure, or could the situation really turn bloody in eastern Ukraine?