Weekly News Wrap: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Yemen has taken control over hundreds of al-Qaeda inmates who tried to escape after they staged a mutiny in Sanaa prison.
- The Friends of Syria group of Western and Arab foreign ministers are meeting in London hoping to persuade opposition leaders to attend a peace conference in Geneva next month.
- Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged President Barack Obama to end drone strikes in Pakistan a day after two reports from Amnesty International and Human Rights watch were released alleging international law violations and a couple days ahead of when the UN will discuss drone strikes in the General Assembly. Kevin has posted about some of the related discussion here.
- China and India signed a deal aimed at soothing tension on their contested border, as the two nuclear-armed giants try to break a decades-old stalemate on overlapping claims to long remote stretches of the Himalayas.
- Former residents of towns near the damaged Fukushima nuclear power station have been told they will be waiting years to return as the clean-up of radioactive contamination is behind schedule.
- A suicide attack has left two Chadian troops from the UN peacekeeping mission and a civilian dead in northern Mali.
- Four Somali pirates were sentenced to seven years each in prison by a Kenyan court that found them guilty of hijacking a fishing dhow in the Indian Ocean in 2010.
- Tunisian security forces have killed 10 Islamist militants near the border with Algeria during a three-day operation against gunmen who attacked police patrols in the remote northern region.
- Russia has replaced piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists with hooliganism charges, a related subject on which Julian also posted related to Russia’s rejection of the ITLOS proceedings between it and the Netherlands.
- The EU has agreed to restart membership talks with Turkey next month, ending a three-year freeze.
- US President Barack Obama had assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the US is not monitoring her communications, despite German claims to the contrary.
- In related news, The European Parliament called for U.S. access to a global financial database in Belgium to be suspended due to concerns that the United States is snooping on the European Union, not just combating terrorism.
- The United States has denied its drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan and elsewhere infringed international law and said it did all it could to avoid civilian casualties.
- American and Israeli officials have differed over Iran’s nuclear program, as Israel called for its effective dismantlement and the US suggested safeguards could show that it was peaceful rather than military.
- October 24 marks the entry into force of the United Nations Charter in 1945. Happy UN Day!