BBC World Service News
05:00 GMT Monday 16th May 2011
Newsreader: Jonathan Izard.
A court appearance in New York by the head of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been postponed for a day. Lawyers for Mr. Strauss-Kahn, who’s accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid, say he’s agreed to a physical examination. From New York, Laura Trevelyan reports: (TAPE)
Dominique Strauss-Kahn has been seen in public for the first time since he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. He was taken away from a Harlem police station in handcuffs. Mr.Strauss-Kahn still hasn’t appeared in front of a judge and formally entered a plea. The delay is due to investigators asking for a warrant to check the IMF Chief’s body for scratches. When the IMF Chief does finally appear in court, the judge must decide whether or not to grant him bail. Mr.Strauss-Kahn is expected to plead not guilty to the charges against him.(LIVE)
European Union finance ministers are meeting in Brussels later today to discuss the debt crisis threatening the Eurozone. They will do so without Mr.Strauss-Kahn, who was instrumental in securing IMF support for the struggling Eurozone economies. More from Chris Morris in Brussels: (TAPE) Another full agenda for European finance ministers in rather extraordinary circumstances. They’re likely to approve the terms of a bail-out for Portugal worth €78 billion. And they’ll discuss what to do about Greece, where it now seems that last year’s even larger bail-out hasn’t been enough. Final decisions won’t be made before a team from the EU and the IMF submit their latest assessment of Greek austerity and reform measures. But the realization that one way or another Greece needs further support is furrowing brows in many European capitals. (LIVE)
Libya has poured scorn on an attempt by the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court later today to seek approval for the arrest of three top Libyan officials, including Colonel Gaddafi, for crimes against humanity. Libya’s Deputy Foreign Minister Khalid Kaim said ICC practices were questionable, and were designed for prosecuting African politicians. (TAPE) “This is from history. We can see all the indicted figures and persons, they are from Africa. And the target now for another African, they will be targeted by ICC. So this is for the African Union for agreement. It’s decision was taken last year to withdraw from the ICC.” (LIVE) The ICC arrest warrants are thought to include Colonel Gaddafi’s intelligence chief Abdallah al-Sanusi, and his son, Saif al-Islam. The Libyan Government says it will ignore the Court, pointing out that like the United States, it has not signed up to it.
The Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned against further protests on Israel’s borders, following violence on Sunday which left at least twelve people dead. He said Israel was determined to defend it’s sovereignty. Tens of thousands of Palestinians and their supporters marched towards Israel from Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.