Headlines from around the world: 4/15/13

Margaret Thatcher, also know as the “Iron Lady” died Monday at 87 following a stroke. She was known for the conservative resurgence she led in her home country and her partnership with Ronald Reagan. Thatcher, a former British prime minister, led Britain from 1979 until 1990. She was the first and only woman to be prime minister and the longest-serving prime minister since before the world wars. President Barack Obama said that Thatcher was an exemplar of British strength and resolve and a role model for young women.

Bandits stole millions of Euros worth of gold bullion in an ambush Monday on two armored security vans in northern Italy. The police called it “the perfect robbery,” describing how it was so meticulously planned and executed. The bandits wore police clothing and blocked traffic on the highway by setting fire to a truck. Once the armored vans arrived, the bandits parked a truck behind them blocking off the road. They then shot guns into the air and set off a smoke bomb beneath one of the trucks so the guards would abandon their posts thinking the van was on fire. They stole the bullion and did not even bother with the second van knowing that it was an empty decoy. Finally, they escaped in three cars as police were slowed by nails the crew had spread at three locations.

Five United Nations peacekeepers and at least seven civilians were killed Tuesday by armed rebels in South Sudan, and at least nine other peacekeepers and civilians were injured. The attack took place on a convoy traveling between the South Sudanese towns of Pibor and Bor. According to South Sudan’s military spokesman, colonel Philip Aguer, the attack was from fighters led by David Yau Yau, a rebel leader South Sudan’s military has battled for months.

North Korea is likely to test-fire a missile or two ahead of a national celebration on Monday. In the past few weeks, North Korea has threatened nuclear war amidst escalating tensions. But according to analysts, Kim Jong-un will test-fire a missile that causes no damage to appease his military without inviting serious retaliation. A major concern is due to the unknown political climate within North Korea. Doug Bandow, member of a libertarian Washington think tank said “The danger is if there really is some kind of power struggle going on. If the military wants more.” North Korea has prepared two medium-range Musudan-1 missiles waiting on its east coast to be fired.

Pakistan conducted a successful test of an intermediate-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead about 600 miles; far enough to go deep within India. The Shaheen-1 missile struck the intended target at sea according to the Pakistani military. Pakistan has a nuclear arsenal of 90 warheads and has been increasing the range of its missiles. India has an estimated 100 nuclear weapons and tensions between the two countries, which has always been high, has risen lately over the disputed Kashmir territory.

The UN human rights chief asked the United States to close down Guantanamo Bay on Friday saying that indefinite imprisonment without charge or trial violates international law. The UN high commissioner for human rights said, “We must be clear about this: The United States is in clear breach not just of its own commitments but also of international laws and standards that it is obliged to uphold.” Some inmates are staging a hunger strike to protest their indefinite detention.

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