Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 30, 2013
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- More than 1000 people have died in fighting in South Sudan in the past month, where a political crisis is turning into a tribal conflict.
- Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Australia has requested asylum there a few days before her term was due to end.
- Edward Snowden has declared “mission accomplished” and also issued an alternative Christmas message for the UK’s Channel 4.
- Legal or not? A federal District Court judge in New York has ruled that the NSA data collection is legal, a week after a District Court judge in DC ruled it illegal.
- Japan’s PM has angered China and South Korea with his visit to the controversial Yasukuni shrine.
- The Thai government has rejected calls to postpone the early elections scheduled for February, and has asked the army to provide security. The army however has not ruled out a military coup.
- After almost two decades the US and Japan have reached an agreement on the relocation of the Okinawa air base.
- The Chinese standing committee of the National People’s Congress has officially passed the resolution relaxing the one-child policy.
- At least 16 people were killed in a suicide blast in a railway station in Volgograd, Russia, followed the next day by a second attack on a bus killing ten more, raising safety concerns about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Sochi.
- Russia has granted amnesty to and released all members of the Pussy Riot, who have vowed to continue their political protests. The same amnesty bill also covered the Arctic 30.
- Russia has filed its first WTO complaint, against the EU’s energy policies.
- Following political protests, Ukraine is resuming negotations with EU.
- The UN has condemned UK PM Cameron’s immigration policies
- Israel-Gaza skirmishes were followed by the closure of the border crossing for goods. Gaza’s only power plant had to stop operations a few days later, but Jerusalem denies that this was caused by the blockade.
- Egypt has declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization
- Hundreds of civilians killed in air raids in Aleppo, Syria. Meanwhile, President Assad has outlined his government’s position for the peace talks scheduled for late January in a private message to Pope Francis, the Vatican has announced.
- A Russian report found the Yasser Arafat died of natural causes and not of polonium poisoning,
- The Palestinian Authority has denied back-channel diplomacy talks between Palestinian President Abbas and Israel’s PM Netanyahu.
- Mohammed Chatah, a prominent Syria and Hezbollah critic was killed in an explosion in Beirut.
- Israel carried out artillery attacks in Southern Lebanon after five rockets were fired into Israeli territory. Responsibility for the rockets has not yet been claimed, but there is speculation that they may have been fired by jihadis wanting to trigger a conflict between their enemies, Hezbollah and Israel.