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Coming This Week: International Edition!

Credit: ProPublicaCongress is in summer recess and everyone else in the U.S. seems to be at the beach, their ranch or preparing for the conventions.

So in lieu of our normal roundup, we're giving you a taste of some of the (very few!) events we found afar.

Monday, Aug. 18

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is on a 10-day tour of southern Africa, meeting with leaders across the continent as part of his effort to break the deadlock in talks with President Robert Mugabe.

Tsangirai, who won a thumping victory in March's elections, has been in negotiations with Mugabe for a month. It's the first time the two men have spent long periods of time together, and while there have been several occasions where a resolution seemed near, no agreement has yet been reached.

Also today, America's second-in-command in Iraq, Lt. Gen. Lloyd Austin III, will brief reporters on ongoing security operations over there. Earlier this summer, Austin warned that sectarian violence would increase in the lead-up to Iraqi elections, scheduled in October.

 

Tuesday, Aug. 19

 

There are two meetings on the Russian invasion of Georgia. First, NATO foreign ministers will be meeting to talk about the crisis.

It will be interesting to watch NATO's response, given that one of Russia's main complaints about Georgia is its attempt to join the regional defense organization, which Russia considers a threat.

The second event is a meeting between the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross president, Jakob Kellenberger, and senior Russian officials. The ICRC reported today that they are still unable to access many parts of Georgia, and Human Rights Watch says that Russia may have violated humanitarian law during the attacks.

Also, the trial of former Liberian President, Charles Taylor, resumes at the Special Court of Sierra Leone. Taylor is charged with 17 counts of crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international law, including alleged use of child soldiers in the conflict with Sierra Leone.

His other alleged crimes include "murdering and mutilating civilians, including cutting off their limbs, using women and girls as sex slaves, abducting adults and children, and forcing them to perform forced labor or become fighters during Sierra Leone's conflict."

Human Rights Watch has good background on Taylor and the conflict in Sierra Leone, and you can find lots more information about the trial here.

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