Must-Reads from Around the World: March 12, 2012

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Allauddin Khan/AP

Anar Gul gestures to the body of her grandchild, who was allegedly killed by a U.S. service member in Panjwai, Kandahar province south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, March. 11, 2012

Solo Act — Almost every major news outlet is leading with the reports that a U.S. soldier acting alone allegedly killed at least 16 Afghan civilians, including nine children, on Sunday. The shootings, taking place near a base in the Southern province of Kandahar, ignited fears of increasing anti-Ameirican sentiment and violence. Making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows, Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich revealed his thoughts that the U.S. mission in Afghanistan “is not doable.”

War Crimes Doc — The Independent reports on evidence Sri Lankan government forces executed Balachandran Prabakaran, the son of the LTTE leader Velupillai Prabhakaran, in 2009 at the climax of the civil war. Film-maker Callum Macrae, the director of Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished, reveals the latest allegations ahead of his program’s first public screening Wednesday night.

French Elex  Der Spiegel interviews French presidential candidate François Hollande and inquires about German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s refusal to meet with him in the run-up to the election. “What counts is that we, as democratically elected leaders, are capable of establishing good relations between our countries in the event of my victory,” he diplomatically says of the apparent snub.

Sino-Japan  China’s Global Times uses the anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami to call for a new relationship between the historical rivals – while making a not-so-subtle dig. “When issues come up between China and Japan, China does not need to react too emotionally,” says the op-ed, before adding: “But the more powerful side should act first. Japan used to hold that role in the region, but didn’t act maturely. The role will now be taken by China, and we should perform accordingly.”

Uganda’s Battle — As Joseph Kony continues to dominate the public imagination of Uganda, Foreign Policy explores the issue of nodding disease. The unexplained condition effects thousands of youth in the war-torn region leaving them with severe mental and physical handicaps. Government-owned Ugandan newspaper New Vision welcomes the international attention that the Invisible Children campaign has brought the nation, but urges any effort to help takes into account the “current realities of the situation.”

Mining for Trouble — Concerns for the environment and lands of indigenous people have sparked protests against increased foreign-owned mining activity across Latin America. Hundreds have set off on a two-week march from an Ecuadorian Amazon province to the capital city of Quito to oppose the development of an open-pit copper mine, the BBC reports. In neighboring Peru and nearby Argentina, thousands have called for an end to open-pit mines as they threaten water supplies. France’s Le Monde describes the large quantities of explosives, dangerous chemical compounds and waste water involved in open mines.