Weekday News Wrap: Monday, December 3, 2012
- Syrian forces have pounded rebel-held areas of Damascus, trying to keep them away from the airport so flights can resume.
- After last Thursday’s decision from the ICTY Appeals Chamber, acquitting former Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj and two others, Kosovo’s government has demanded an investigation into the actions of the lead prosecutor, Carla del Ponte, accusing her of abuse of power and filing unfounded charges.
- As we reported last week, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution giving Palestine an upgraded non-member observer state status. At EJIL: Talk!, Dapo Akande asks whether this now makes Palestine a state under international law.
- As a result of the vote, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas experienced a hero’s welcome during his return to Ramallah. A more somber reaction followed in Israel. Not only did Israel reject Palestinian statehood, it also unveiled a plan for 3,000 new settlements in Palestinian territory.
- Ban Ki-Moon has condemned the plan for new settlements as an “almost fatal blow to peace“, and European nations have condemned the plan, threatening to withdraw support to Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu brushed off international criticism of the new settlement plans, stating that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and wherever there are Israeli strategic interests. Additionally, Israel has withheld tax revenue funds of about $100 million this month from Palestine in response to the UN vote.
- The presidents of Colombia and Nicaragua both have stated they wish to avoid war and use dialogue instead to solve a dispute over a recent ICJ decision that shifted some of Colombia’s resource-rich water to Nicaragua. Jurist has more here.
- A missile fired from a US drone in northern Pakistan has killed four men, one of whom was a Yemeni with alleged ties to al-Qaeda. The New York Times has an editorial about the recent reports that the Obama administration is crafting a set of rules outlining its targeted killings policy.
- William Schabas has a post on his blog regarding serious fairness issues raised recently at the ICC in the Katanga/Ngudjolo case.
- China has surpassed the US as the dominant global trading partner.
- Three former Nobel Peace Prize laureates have sent an open letter to the Nobel Foundation protesting this year’s award to the EU.
- Multiple suicide bombers attacked a joint US-Afghan airbase in Jalalabad over the weekend.
- South Sudan has announced that its border talks with Sudan have been successful so far, although details were not disclosed.
- A Parliamentary Committee in the UK has recommended stronger actions to ensure that global firms such as Amazon, Google and Starbucks pay taxes on the revenue generated in the UK.