International brief ~ Spain ratifies European constitution D. Wes Rist at 3:40 PM ET
[JURIST] Leading Wednesday's international brief, Spain [government website in Spanish] officially ratified the EU Constitution [official website] today after the Spanish Senate [government website] voted 225 - 6 to approve the document. Spain held a non-binding referendum [JURIST report] in February that demostrated strong popular support for the proposed Europe-wide constitution. Spain's lower house of parliament, El Congreso de los Diputados [government website] approved the Constitution 28 April. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the EU Constitution [JURIST news archive]. The International Herald Tribune has more.
In other international legal news ...
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso [official profile] spoke on French radio Wednesday, warning French voters that a no-vote in the EU Constitution [official website] referendum scheduled for 29 May would "be very bad news for the economy in France." Barroso added that a strong EU needed a strong France at its heart. Barroso is unpopular in France, as many voters feel his push to make the EU more competitive threatens France's large welfare state. French President Jacques Chirac [official profile] reportedly intervened personally in March to keep Barroso from launching a television yes-vote campaign, arguing that it would do more harm than good. Most polls in France put the no-vote slightly ahead. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the EU Constitution [JURIST news archive]. BBC News has more.
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization [official website] has agreed to convene a board of Alliance military authorities to offer advice to the African Union [official website] on the deployment of military forces in a peacekeeping role in the Darfur region of Sudan [government website]. The AU requested advice [NATO report] from NATO on 26 April and met Tuesday to consider what level of involvement that traditionally European-focused regional organization would take. NATO officials did not comment on whether their involvement would extend to the logistical support requested by the AU. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Sudan and NATO [JURIST news archives]. Read the official NATO news report. The Sudan Tribune has local coverage.
Venezuelan Vice-President Jose Vicente Rangel assured US officials Wednesday that anti-communist militant Luis Posada Carriles [Wikipedia profile] would not be turned over to Cuba [government website] if he was extradited to Venezuela [government website]. Carriles is wanted in both Cuba and Venezuela for his suspected involvement in a 1976 airliner bombing that killed 73 people. US officials had previously stated that the US government has a policy of not extraditing anyone that may be turned over to the Cuban government following their removal from the United States. Rangel called these statements "excuses and subterfuge" and urged US officials to return Carriles to Venezuela, where he is a citizen. Carriles is currently being held pending the outcome of his appeal for asylum. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of Cuba and Venezuela [JURIST news archives]. Venezuela's El Nacional has local coverage in Spanish.
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