Weekly News Wrap: Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A Red Cross spokesman says a vehicle carrying five people has gone missing in northern Mali and an official from the group known as the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa said that an al-Qaeda-linked group in Mali has kidnapped them.
- The Office of the Prosecutor for the ICC alleged that Congolese war crimes suspect Bosco Ntaganda was instrumental in organizing and ordering militias of “child soldiers” to attack civilians. The Court’s press release from the opening of the confirmation of the charges hearing can be found here.
- Additionally, the ICC will open a preliminary examination into violence in the Central African Republic to determine whether atrocities committed there constitute possible war crimes.
- A Pakistani anti-drone campaigner, Kareem Khan, who was due to testify before European parliaments, has gone missing in the city of Rawalpindi. More from human rights organization Reprieve here.
- China and Taiwan held their first government-to-government talks since they split 65 years ago after a brutal civil war.
- War took an increasing toll on Afghanistan’s civilians in 2013 as fighting intensified between the government and insurgents, the United Nations said in a report, with total casualties rising 14 percent.
- Colombia’s FARC rebels accused former President Alvaro Uribe of involvement in alleged spying on government negotiators at peace talks in Cuba, and said their delegation’s communications were also intercepted.
- For more on spying in the Americas: Brazilian security forces are using undercover agents, intercepting e-mails, and rigorously monitoring social media to try to ensure that violent anti-government protesters do not ruin soccer’s World Cup this year, officials told Reuters.
- And for the complete spying in the Americas trifecta, Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill report that the National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes, as Obama officials weigh launching a drone attack on another US citizen, this time allegedly in Pakistan.
- Iran’s military has successfully test-fired two new domestically made missiles, ahead of talks with world powers to try to reach an agreement on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program.
- Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approved building plans on Wednesday for 558 new homes in the occupied West Bank, land that the Palestinians want for a future state.
- Turkey and Israel are getting closer to normalizing relations, according to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Negotiators from the two countries have been holding talks to resume diplomatic ties that were severed after an Israeli raid on a Gaza-bound aid ship in 2010 left nine dead.
- The Vatican was denounced by a UN human rights committee for failing to prevent priests raping and molesting tens of thousands of children over decades and for adopting policies that allowed abuse to continue once detected.
- The European Union must be ready to impose sanctions on Ukraine if it persists in using violence against protesters, the Czech foreign minister said, warning against what he saw as Soviet-style authoritarianism.
- European partners have threatened to review their relations with Switzerland after voters narrowly backed a proposal to curtail immigration into Switzerland from the EU in a referendum.