In ‘Taylor War Crimes Trial Begins: PAC’s Ian Smillie is First Witness’ the long-awaited war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor started in The Hague in January. In ‘Kimberley Process Annual Plenary: NGO Participation Increases – But Funding Problems Remain’ many member governments are still not engaging civil society organizations meaningfully in implementing the KP. In ‘DDI Appoints Executive Director’ the Board of Directors of the Diamond Development Initiative announced at the end of January the organization’s first Executive Director. In ‘Venezuela Agrees to KP Visit’ Venezuela agreed to invite a KP review team to visit the country. Venezuela, which is a mid-size diamond producing country, has reported virtually no diamond production and no exports whatsoever for several years. In ‘Congolese Diamond Reforms Remain Elusive: Diamonds Earn Diggers $1 per Day’ Reforms to the diamond industry in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are not moving quickly enough – in a country where the political balance is fragile and where recovery from years of war remains frustratingly slow. ‘Diamond Riches Contribute Little to Angolan Development: Management and Human Rights Problems Persist’ describes how the Angolan government has given away large percentages of joint venture projects to political friends and insiders, most of whom contribute little to the success of the operations. In ‘DDI Workshop in Sierra Leone: Standards & Guidelines an Important Step’ the workshop brought together senior government officials, mayors, paramount chiefs, artisanal miners’ representatives, labour leaders, diamond dealers, NGOs, donors and the media, to examine the opportunities and challenges in integrating best practices into the artisanal mining sector.