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Secretary of State Colin L. Powell called the Sudan government's militia activity in its Darfur region "genocide" yesterday. It marks a dramatic increase in pressure on the Sudan government to stop the attacks on largely Muslim blacks supported by the Arab Muslim government.

"When we reviewed the evidence compiled by our team," Mr. Powell said, "we concluded—I concluded—that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the government of Sudan and the Janjaweed [militia] bear responsibility."

Ten years ago, the United Nations and the U.S. government refused to call the murders of 800,000 of Rwandans genocide, in part because of legal ramifications. The Associated Press writes, "Under the genocide convention, the United Nations can take any action under its charter that it considers 'appropriate for the prevention and suppression of acts of genocide,' Powell said. He urged the U.N. Security Council to approve a resolution that asks the United Nations to look into 'all violations of international humanitarian law and human rights that have occurred in Darfur.'" More than one million people have been displaced because of militia raids in the region.

The United Nations and the European Union are hesitant to use the term. "'We want to concentrate on keeping the government of Sudan engaged and not go down a path that could terminate that engagement,' said Munir Akram, the Pakistani ambassador [to the U.N.]. The Chinese ambassador, Wang Guangya, suggested that China might veto such a resolution," according to The New York Times.

"We have not discussed specifically the use of the word genocide,'' said European Union spokesman Jean-Charles Ellermann-Kingombe. "We have noted that there is an extremely serious situation that ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
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Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's managing editor for news and online journalism. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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