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European Union flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels April 12, 2006.

Yves Herman via Reuters

How the EU Parliament elections work

We broke down how voters across the European Union’s 27 member states cast their ballots in European Parliament elections this weekend, but how exactly do these elections work, and why should you care?

The European Parliament is where the European Union writes bloc-wide laws. Members of the European Parliament, or MEPs, selected in this year’s election will determine Europe’s approach to everything from the war in Ukraine and immigration to the green energy transition for the next five years.

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Palestinian militants from Hamas march during a Hamas rally in Nosirat refugee camp in Gaza Strip April 1, 2005. Islamic militant group Hamas is discussing whether it might join a Palestinian government after contesting parliamentary elections for the first time this July, the faction said on Thursday.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah AJ/TZ

Hamas: What is it?

Hamas’ attacks on Israel last weekend have focused global attention on the Gaza-based militant group. Here’s what you need to know:

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Going after war criminals
Ian Explains: What Is A War Crime? | GZERO World

Going after war criminals

The accusations of Russian war crimes in Ukraine have shocked the world. The Kremlin, of course, denies targeting civilians and says it’s the Ukrainians who are violating the rules of war. So what happens when one side does commit atrocities during a conflict?

It might be prosecuted for war crimes, like the Nazis who were tried in Nuremberg after World War II, just a few years before the latest version of the Geneva Convention was ratified in 1949, establishing the core of international humanitarian law.

More recently, the UN has set up special courts to prosecute war crimes like those in the former Yugoslavia (this week is the 30th anniversary of the start of the war in Bosnia), and 20 years ago the UN-backed International Criminal Court was established.

Such bodies were able to try the likes of Slobodan Milošević, the former president of Yugoslavia, and convict Charle Taylor, the Liberian warlord-turned-president.

But others evaded justice. Not everyone is on board with international tribunals for war crimes.

The US, China, and Russia have not joined the ICC — in the American case, Bill Clinton tried but it was never ratified by Congress.

Lack of jurisdiction will make it hard — but not impossible — to go after Russians accused of war crimes in Ukraine.

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