Weekday News Wrap: Tuesday, August 28, 2012
- Basil Katz at Reuters has an article about Section 502 of the Iran Threat Reduction and Syria Human Rights Act of 2012. This section lifts the Central Bank of Iran’s immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunity Act of 1976 and effectively neuters the Bank’s defences in a case pending before the US District Court for the Southern District of New York in which plaintiffs are seeking to seize $1.75bn or Iranian assets to enforce an earlier judgment against Iran awarding $2.65bn in damages for its involvement, via Hezbollah, in the Lebanese civil war.
- Air attacks in Damascus have killed at least 60. Foreign Policy has put together a slide show of what the conflict in Syria looks like.
- Also from Foreign Policy, coverage of French president Francois Hollande’s statement that France would recognize a Syrian provisional government of the opposition once it is formed.
- The US military has said it is disciplining soldiers involved in two incidents in Afghanistan, one of burning copies of the Koran and another of urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters. The administrative punishments could include reduced rank and forfeiture of pay but fall short of criminal prosecution.
- According to the Small Arms Survey 2012, global small arms trade has doubled in six years, fueled by purchases by Americans of guns and ammunition along with big military purchases for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
- Arctic sea ice has hit a “record low,” seen by scientists as the latest alarming sign of the impact of global warming.
- Israel shelled Gaza yesterday targeting two suspected terrorist compounds.
- In more news about Gaza, the UN warns that the Gaza Strip will be uninhabitable by 2020 unless the living conditions, such as power and water supply and access to health care and schooling, significantly improve.
- Colombia is seeking peace with FARC rebels and has entered into preliminary talks with the group in order to end five decades of war.
- Following the example of the US, Europe and Japan, Mexico also requested WTO consultations with Argentina over the latter’s import restrictions.
- An Israeli court has decided that Israel is not to blame for the death of Rachel Corrie who died in 2003 when she was run over by a bulldozer in an attempt to stop housing demolitions in Gaza.
- Australia and the EU have reached an agreement to link their Emissions Trading Schemes from July 2015. Under the deal, Australian emitters would be allowed to purchase emission allowances in the EU from July 2015, although EU emitters will have to wait three years longer before they can purchase Australian allowances. Similar negotiations between Australia and New Zealand are still ongoing.
- The Annual Pacific Islands Forum is meeting in the Cook Islands, with delegations of various major powers, vying for influence, also in attendance.
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