Crisis-hit France to cut armed forces by 10 percent
Paris (AFP) April 29, 2013 – France plans to axe nearly 10 percent of all jobs in the armed forces as it battles a financial crisis, a government review showed Monday, in what critics said would reduce the country’s military clout. The white paper, which sets the general direction of France’s defence policy, seeks a balance between the need to protect France from high-level threats and budgetary constraints as the count … more

Colombia sees leniency for rebels if peace deal reached
Bogota (AFP) April 29, 2013 – Colombian guerrilla leaders convicted of war crimes or crimes against humanity could get suspended sentences if government and rebel negotiators reach a peace accord, an official said Monday. The two sides have been negotiating in Havana since late last year to try to end Latin America’s last and longest insurgency, one that has ground on for nearly 50 years and claimed an estimated 600,000 … more

China clamps down on abuses by ‘military’ drivers
Beijing (AFP) April 29, 2013 – China will this week clampdown on a widely-abused system of privileges for drivers of military vehicles as Beijing steps up its efforts to stamp out corruption and excess in official life. Owners of military vehicles have until Tuesday to replace their licence plates as part of a new registration system which aims to prevent unauthorised drivers from being given preferential treatment on the … more