Bashir forced to cancel travel plans

An outstanding ICC warrant for his arrest hasn't prevented Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir from traveling over the last couple years. The globetrotting accused war criminal has visited countries including China, Chad, Qatar, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kenya and Ethiopia since the court's indictment was handed down. But it looks like he will have to cancel plans to attend next month's AU summit in Malawi: 

Malawi already angered international donors when it hosted Bashir last year. President Joyce Banda said last month that she had asked the AU to prevent him from attending the summit as another visit could have "implications" for the country's economy.[...]

Khartoum asked the bloc that the summit - planned to run from July 9 to 16 - be held instead in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, home to the AU headquarters.

It said it had made the request following Malawi's announcement that Bashir was not welcome at the summit "upon a claimed adherence of Malawi to its obligations to the so-called 'International Criminal Court'".

It does seem like Banda, who took over in April after the death of the confrontational and notoriously corrupt Bingu wa Mutharika, has making all the right moves to stay on the good side of western donors, including repealing the country's harsh laws against homosexuality earlier this month and discarding some of her predecessors lavish perks. It appears to be working. Britain announced it was releasing $51 million in aid, almost a year after suspending assistance to the country because of Mutharika's mismanagement.


Putin's watch collection exceeds his declared income

The Russian opposition group Solidarity is circulating the video above, which highlights the Russian president's taste in wrist-wear -- a collection they say exceeds his declared income of 3.6 million rubles ($112,000) per year. The Moscow Times writes

Putin, who wears the timepieces on his right wrist, has been photographed sporting a Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar, valued at $60,000. The president has also been seen wearing a Leman Aqua Lung Grande Date by Blancpain, worth $10,500. Made of crocodile leather, sapphire glass and platinum, an A. Lange & Söhne Tourbograph may be his most expensive timepiece, valued at half a million dollars.[...]

Putin's watch collection is worth at least 22 million rubles, Solidarity says.

"Putin, it seems, did not eat or drink for six years to acquire this collection," Boris Nemtsov, a Solidarity member and former deputy prime minister, wrote in a blog post featuring the video Thursday.

Last year, the website RuLeaks posted photos of a lavish Italianate mansion near the Black Sea alleged to belong to Putin.