by Staff Writers
Stockholm (AFP) March 15, 2012
Swedish lawmakers voted Thursday in favour of ratifying a treaty that bans the use of cluster bombs, the UN Convention on Cluster Munitions.
"Parliament voted in favour of the government's proposal that Sweden shall adhere to the Convention on Cluster Munitions," parliament said in a statement. Sweden signed the treaty in 2008.
Some 109 countries have signed the convention, which entered into force in 2010, and which requires signatories to stop the use, production and transfer of the deadly weapons.
Cluster munitions split open before impact and scatter multiple -- often hundreds -- of submunitions, or bomblets, usually the size of a tennis ball, over a wide area.
Many of them fail to explode and can lie hidden for years, killing and maiming civilians, including children, in explosions, even decades after the conflict is over.
China, Israel, Russia and the United States are among countries that have not signed the convention.
Those powers are thought to hoard and manufacture the bulk of the munitions, although the data is secret.
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New Zealand inducts first NH90 helicopters
Wellington, New Zealand (UPI) Mar 15, 2012
The New Zealand air force inducted the first two of eight NH90 helicopters into limited operational service to be used for training missions. The two helicopters built in Europe by NH Industries, along with spares, were delivered early December by a chartered Antonov AN 124 cargo aircraft. NHI built the helicopters in its facility in Marignane, France, and delivered them to the N ... read more
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