1. Weapons

    United Nations Passes Arms Treaty

    Delegates to the United Nations General Assembly April 2, 2013 applaud the passage of the first UN treaty regulating the international arms trade. The UN General Assembly on Tuesday adopted the first-ever treaty to regulate the $80-billion-a-year conventional arms trade. The assembly voted 154-3 for a resolution that will open the treaty for signature from June. Syria, North Korea and Iran -- which had blocked the treaty last week -- voted against it. Russia was among the 23 abstentions. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY        (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

    Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty

    Cheers filled the United Nations assembly chamber as the votes were tallied for the first-ever treaty to regulate the global trade in conventional weapons, which include tanks, helicopters, and guns. The treaty passed in a landslide vote, with only Syria, Iran, and North Korea voting against it and 23 countries abstaining. Also criticizing the treaty was the National Rifle Association, which is threatening to block ratification in the Senate. The treaty would bring more transparency to global arms sales and require states selling weapons to vet countries for human-rights abuses, terrorism, and organized crime.

    Read it at The New York Times