January 25th, 2009
08:41 AM ET

Congo rebel leader Nkunda arrested

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/WORLD/africa/01/23/congo.arrest/art.nkunda.afp.jpg caption="Laurent Nkunda, seen here last November, was reportedly arrested in Rwanda."]

Congolese rebel leader Laurent Nkunda was arrested by Rwandan authorities early Friday, a development that raised hopes for peace in the war-ravaged country, representatives from both countries said.

Congolese forces first tried to capture the Tutsi rebel leader late Thursday evening near Bunagana, a village in eastern Congo.

Rwandan authorities then captured Nkunda around 2 a.m. Friday, Omalanga added.

The two countries were discussing efforts to extradite Nkunda back to the Congo.

"We think this is a major development in the peace process," said Madnodje Mounoubai, a spokesman for the U.N. Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • Global 360°
January 25th, 2009
08:27 AM ET

Obama repeals global gag rule

Daniel Pellegrom
RH RealityCheck.org

President Obama signed an executive order late Friday afternoon ending the Global Gag Rule.

President Obama's decision to lift the Global Gag Rule gives me extraordinary reason to rejoice. I became Pathfinder International's president in 1985, shortly after President Reagan imposed the original version of the Global Gag Rule (also known as the Mexico City Policy). I have openly opposed the gag rule, working for its repeal ever since.

At Pathfinder, we challenged this harmful policy in federal court in the late 1980s. Although we did not obtain an outright victory in the courts, the lawsuit forced the U.S. government to clarify what activities were legally permissible under the rule, paving the way for resumption of life-saving post-abortion medical services. Indeed, that legal challenge revealed to the court that among the repercussions of the U.S. gag rule were the preventable deaths of women in the globe's poorest countries.