Weekly News Wrap: November 25, 2013
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Iran and six world powers clinched a deal to curb the Iranian nuclear program in exchange for initial sanctions relief, signalling the start of a game-changing rapprochement that would reduce the risk of a wider Middle East war, though a “tough road ahead” awaits those working to turn the interim accord into a comprehensive agreement. Duncan weighed in with his thoughts here.
- Rebels led by al Qaeda-linked fighters have seized Syria’s largest oilfield, cutting off President Bashar al-Assad’s access to almost all local crude reserves.
- North Korea has confirmed through Swedish officials in Pyongyang that it has detained a US citizen, after reports that an 85-year-old California man was pulled off a plane as he was about to leave the country.
- China has tested its first stealth combat drone, citing online photos of an aircraft resembling a shrunken US B2 bomber and hailing the advance toward Western-level technology.
- A Pakistani doctor who helped the CIA find Osama bin Laden has been charged with murder and fraud three months after his conviction for treason was overturned.
- Rising diplomatic tension between Australia an Indonesia spread into the corporate world when a state-owned Indonesian firm suspended talks with Australian cattle farmers, citing trust issues between the neighbors.
- The United States has sharply criticised China’s move to impose new rules on airspace over islands at the heart of a territorial dispute with Japan, calling it a “destabilising attempt to alter the status quo in the region,” though China defends its actions. Julian posted about it here.
- After the defeat of M23 rebels in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, UN peacekeepers are trying to learn more about one of their next targets in a region overrun by armed groups – the Allied Democratic Forces, Islamist extremists blamed for kidnapping at least 300 people in the past year.
- The Democratic Republic of the Congo arrested a senior opposition politician after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant accusing him of trying to influence the war crimes trial of former presidential candidate Jean-Pierre Bemba. Kevin offers his word of caution here and over at Justice in Conflict, a post here.
- Developed countries and fast-growing economies have reached a last-minute compromise to avert a breakdown of UN climate talks in Warsaw, working towards the inking of a new UN pact in 2015 to slow down global warming.
- The U.N. maritime tribunal, the International Tribunal on the Law of the Sea, ordered Russia to release a Greenpeace ship and 30 people arrested in a protest against Russian Arctic oil drilling, most of whom have just been released from detention on bail.
- Three women enslaved for 30 years in a London house were beaten and subjected to psychological abuse, in one of the worst cases of domestic servitude to emerge in Britain.
- The United States criticized a proposal by Nicaragua’s ruling party to remove presidential term limits, which could allow Washington’s former Cold War adversary Daniel Ortega to stay in power indefinitely.
- Twitter Inc said it has implemented a security technology that makes it harder to spy on its users and called on other Internet firms to do the same, as Web providers look to thwart spying by government intelligence agencies.