Must-Reads From Around the World: April 26, 2012

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Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes at the start of the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone's rebels who paid him in "blood diamonds," on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague

Life For Death? – The five-year trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other offenses, is finally coming to a close in The Hague on Thursday, with a possible life sentence for the ousted leader. The Guardian, live-blogging the verdict from the tribunal, noted that Taylor is “clearly listening with care,” as it is read out. And judges found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.

New Front in Drone War – The White House expanded the authority of the Pentagon and CIA to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, which is widely believed to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda operatives, the New York Times reports. U.S. Defense Secretary LeonPanetta has defended the strategy, the Guardian says, but international legal experts argue that drone strikes amount to execution of suspects before trial, making them illegal – especially when carried out in Yemen where the U.S. is not engaged in war.

Questioning Misogyny – Following the fierce debate over its cover story, “Why Do They Hate Us?” which casts Arab societies as deeply misogynistic, Foreign Policy shares critiques and commentary from six Muslim observers, including the senior editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website. Also chiming in is The Atlantic’s Max Fisher, who argues that while misogyny is a problem in Arab countries, it’s not a distinctively Arab problem.

The Bo Xilai Show – As more details on disgraced Communist Party official Bo Xilai come to light, the New York Times writes that the ousted leader is said to have spied on other party officials, including Chinese President Hu Jintao – an indication, perhaps, of the level of distrust among leaders in the one-party state. Investigating the scandal’s fallout on Bo’s family, The Wall Street Journal reports that his brother has resigned as deputy chairman of a Hong Kong-listed company.

Launching Lies – In the aftermath of North Korea’s failed missile test launch, The Associated Press reports that analysts are saying the missiles were “fakes” and “not very convincing ones.” The piece quotes experts from a German technology consulting company, who insist the missiles were built in such a way that there is “no doubt” they were mock-ups, resulting in a “dog and pony show” for the West.

The Apple CoreThe Wall Street Journal tracks Apple’s progress in Asia, where sales more than doubled for the first three months of the year. The paper suggests the sales were “fueled largely by China,” where the iPhone and iPad trade is “skyrocketing,” evidenced by the fact that five times the number of iPhones were sold in the latest quarter in the country than in the previous year.