Weekly News Wrap: Monday, March 3, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The World Bank has suspended a planned $90m loan to Uganda meant to strengthen its health care system after its president signed into law a bill prescribing harsh jail terms for homosexual offenses.
- More than 200 migrants seeking to enter Europe have stormed over a fence into Spain’s north African territory Melilla, causing a fracas that left 35 injured in one of the biggest such crossings in years.
- A prominent Chinese dissident, Xia Yeliang, who moved to the United States after being fired by Peking University last year warned of the dangers of academic exchanges with China, saying Beijing sent spies as visiting scholars.
- China accused the United States of widespread human rights abuses, including cyber-surveillance and child labor, in Beijing’s annual rebuttal of Washington’s criticism of its rights record.
- North Korea has fired two short-range missiles into the sea off the east coast of the Korean peninsula, South Korea’s defense ministry has said, after launching similar rockets last week.
- Venezuela said its foreign minister will meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva on Tuesday amid growing international calls for dialogue between political players to ease the OPEC nation’s worst unrest in a decade.
- The co-chairs of a UN group tasked with drafting a blueprint for sustainable development goals (SDGs) released a list of 19 focus areas, following a year of discussions.
- Fighting in the Damascus district of Yarmouk have interrupted aid distribution to thousands of besieged Palestinian refugees, according to the UN.
- US President Barack Obama, issuing a veiled warning to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the eve of talks, said in an interview it would be harder for Washington to defend Israel against efforts to isolate it internationally if U.S.-led Middle East peace talks fail.
- Veteran Spanish journalist Marc Marginedas, kidnapped in Syria in early September last year, has been freed, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has said.
- British spies are stealing screenshots from hundreds of thousands of innocent Yahoo users’ webcam videos, which state that the years-long operation has swept up a huge haul of intimate photographs.
- The Faroe Islands’ dispute with the EU over restrictions on the archipelago’s fishing fleets advanced to the WTO panel stage.
- David Cameron, UK’s prime minister, has announced an independent inquiry into secret letters sent to Irish Republican Army suspects which promised them protection from arrest.
- Russia has started a build-up of armored vehicles on the Russian side of a narrow stretch of water between Russia and the Ukrainian region of Crimea, Ukrainian border guards said. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and UN diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi in Geneva on Monday at a human rights council session.
- Russia said that the United States abruptly withdrew an invitation for Russian veterinary officials to attend talks this week and accused Washington of “sabotage”, an apparent sign of tension over Ukraine.