Weekly News Wrap: Monday, February 3, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Sudan’s government has suspended the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the country.
- The African Union has urged its members to “speak with one voice” against criminal proceedings at the International Criminal Court against sitting presidents.
- International forces in the Central African Republic have retaken the strategic town of Sibut, occupied for days by Muslim Seleka fighters.
- China does not feel threatened by countries in Southeast Asia and is optimistic about the situation in the disputed South China Sea, the Foreign Ministry said, warning Japan not to “spread rumors” it plans a new air defense identification zone.
- In Olympics news, U.S. officials say the first of two American warships heading into the Black Sea in advance of the Olympic Games has sailed from Italy.
- A 30-foot (9 meter) sailboat with about 30 Cuban refugees aboard docked in the Cayman Islands and passengers said they were hoping to reach Honduras.
- US President Obama released a certification memorandum that any US armed forces personnel involved in the international stabilization mission in Mali would be immune from prosecution at the ICC.
- The UN has said that at least 733 Iraqis were killed during violence in January, even when leaving out casualties from an embattled western province of Anbar.
- Israel’s finance minister halted the transfer of government funds to West Bank Jewish settlements and ordered a probe into allegations that money meant to support municipalities had been funneled to a pro-settler political group.
- Jabhat al-Nusra in Lebanon, a group named after al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, has said it carried out a suicide car bombing in a stronghold of the Lebanese Shia group Hezbollah that has killed at least four people.
- Fighters linked to al-Qaeda have killed two rebel leaders in bombings in Syria, in an apparent shift of tactics to target the command structures of their rivals.
- The European Union is “seriously concerned” about China’s treatment of human rights campaigners after a spate of trials and detentions.
- Ahead of the Olympic Winter Games, Russian opposition figure and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny, who is restricted from travelling outside Moscow, has requested permission to visit Sochi.
- France will have “significant commercial opportunities” in Iran if sanctions are lifted, but Tehran first has to prove its good faith in abiding by nuclear undertakings, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said.
- Australia has approved a plan to dump millions of tons of sediment near the Great Barrier Reef as part of a major coal port expansion – a decision that environmentalists say will endanger one of the world’s most fragile eco-systems.