Chatter: 'Butcher of Bosnia' on trial




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Need to know:
Former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic went on trial today in The Hague. 

Mladic faces multiple counts of genocide and crimes against humanity during the Bosnian War of the 1990s. He is accused, amongst other things, of orchestrating the murder of 8,000 unarmed Muslim boys and men in Srebrenica – an event has been described as Europe's worst atrocity since World War Two.

Prosecutors told the court that the massacre was part of a plan to ethnically cleanse non-Serbs from parts of Bosnia. Mladic has pleaded not guilty.

Want to know:
Greece is due to name an caretaker government today, to take charge of the country until new elections next month.

Another vote is necessary after the parties who won seats on May 6 were unable to reach a coalition agreement. Polls suggest that SYRIZA, the radical-left bloc that staunchly opposes austerity measures, will build on their success of last time to become the largest party in parliament.

If that happens, we could see Greece turn its back on the EU-IMF bailout packages – and, by extension, the euro. The crucial election is expected in mid-June.

Dull but important:
Meanwhile, in the corridors of power in Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel met newly sworn-in French President François Hollande. 

The two held brief talks last night, though slightly later than planned after Hollande's plane was struck by lightning. (As everyone's favorite Merkel impersonator, Queen_Europe, so eloquently tweeted: "#BOOM.") 

In a joint press conference, Merkel and Hollande said they were determined to work together to tackle the debt crisis, and to keep Greece in the euro. Which isn't to say they agree on how: Hollande said "everything should be on the table" to boost growth, including eurobonds and a rewrite of the fiscal discipline pact, which provoked some grimaces from the Chancellor. But, for the moment and for the cameras, it's all smiles between two of the biggest forces in Europe.

Just because:
We're one step closer to testing ourselves for HIV, after a panel of US experts gave a home-test kit the green light.

The Food and Drug Administration advisory panel voted unanimously to approve the OraQuick In-Home HIV Test, which analyze samples of mouth fluid taken with a swab. Results take just 20 minutes, and are more than 90 percent accurate.

The FDA will decide later this year whether to approve the test for sale over the counter. Currently, around 1.2 million Americans are thought to be HIV-infected, about one in five of whom don't know they carry the virus.

Strange but true:
Henry Kissinger – yes, that Henry Kissinger – was subjected to a full security search before boarding a plane at New York's LaGuardia airport recently.

Witnesses said the former US Secretary of State and and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, who is 88, was told to get out of the wheelchair he was in at the time, remove his jacket and brace for a pat-down. 

"None of the agents seemed to know who he was," remarked one. No kidding.