Weekly News Wrap: December 16, 2013
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The UN sent its first delivery of humanitarian aid by air to Syria from Iraq and said it plans to deliver more food and winter supplies to the mainly Kurdish northeast in the next 12 days.
- Yemen’s parliament called for a stop to drone attacks in a symbolic vote that reflected growing public anxiety about Washington’s use of the unmanned aircraft to combat al Qaeda in the impoverished country.
- An Israeli soldier has been killed in cross-border gunfire near the Lebanese border, the Israeli military has said.
- Syrian government air raids using barrel bombs on rebel-controlled areas of Syria’s second city of Aleppo killed at least 76 people, including 28 children, activists said.
- Japan and Southeast Asian nations have called for freedom of the high seas and skies, amid heightened tensions over China’s new air defense zone in the East China Sea.
- China’s first moon rover has touched the lunar surface and left deep traces on its loose soil, state media reported, hours after the country successfully carried out the first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades.
- Assailants stabbed a Japanese diplomat in Yemen as the victim drove his car in the capital Sanaa, scene of a recent spate of attacks on foreigners, the embassy said.
- France will ask for more help from its European partners to bolster its peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic.
- Central African Republic’s interim leader is weighing a possible amnesty for militias involved in Christian-Muslim violence that has killed hundreds of people, most of them civilians, in exchange for their disarmament.
- Heavy gunfire has rocked South Sudan capital, Juba, as rival factions of the country’s military clashed.
- A car bomb has killed two Senegalese UN peacekeepers and destroyed the only operating bank in the northern Malian town of Kidal, one day before a second round of parliamentary elections.
- The European Union said it will suspend efforts to work with Ukraine on a trade and cooperation agreement, as 200,000 pro-EU protesters gathered for a rally, marking the start of a fourth consecutive week of anti-government unrest.
- The majority of Catalans want the right to decide on independence in a referendum and believe Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy should authorize such a vote, a poll showed on Sunday.
- Iranian intelligence authorities have arrested a man on charges of spying for Britain’s MI6, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.
- Authorities said Friday they foiled a suicide bombing plot to blow up the Mid-Continent Airport in Wichita, Kansas, arresting a man who proclaimed himself Muslim and had talked of committing “violent jihad on behalf of al Qaeda.”
- Venezuelan authorities took passengers off an Air France flight that was due to depart to Paris on Saturday after French officials warned of a possible bomb threat, Venezuela’s interior minister said.
- In his first visit to Vietnam as America’s top diplomat, US Secretary of State John Kerry urged the country’s leaders to strengthen their commitment to human rights and allow more freedom of expression, including on the Internet.