Weekly News Wrap: Monday, March 31, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- More than one million people in South Sudan have been forced from their homes during more than three months of ongoing fighting, with conditions continuing to worsen, the UN has warned.
- Senegal closed its land border with Guinea on Saturday to try to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus, which Guinean authorities say is suspected of killing 70 people in what would be the deadliest outbreak in seven years. Liberia has confirmed ebola’s arrival from Guinea as well.
- Tens of thousands of Taiwanese protesters have taken to the streets in Taipei in a bid to pressure President Ma Ying-jeou to retract a controversial trade pact with China.
- A Philippine government vessel made a dash for shallow waters around the disputed reef in the South China Sea, evading two Chinese coastguard ships trying to block its path to deliver food, water and fresh troops to a military outpost on the shoal.
- North Korea fired artillery close to a disputed maritime border with the South, prompting the South to fire back, although the military exercise appeared to be yet more saber rattling from Pyongyang rather than a prelude to a sharp rise in tensions.
- In one week, 370 immigrant children, most of them from Central America, were found abandoned in Mexico, after traffickers promised to take them to the United States but left them to their own devices after being paid thousands of dollars.
- Cuban politicians have approved a law to make it more attractive for foreign investors to do business in and with the country, a measure seen as vital if the island’s struggling economy is to improve.
- Israel has handed the Palestinians a proposal aimed at extending peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline in efforts to salvage negotiations.
- Egypt has reopened its land border with the Gaza Strip after a 50-day closure, but only for three days and then just for special cases, Gaza’s governing group Hamas has said.
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has selected a new ambassador to represent Tehran at the United Nations, Hamid Abutalebi, a veteran diplomat who has held key European postings in the past.
- The commander of a planned European Union peacekeeping force for Central African Republic has decided he now has enough soldiers and equipment to launch the delayed mission after governments came forward with new offers of help.
- Germany is considering offering military support to some eastern European members of the NATO defense alliance in response to Russia’s seizure of Crimea and the US has pledged $10 million to bolster border security in Moldova.
- Greece’s government secured enough votes in parliament to pass a key reform bill demanded by its international lenders, in exchange for further bailout loans to avoid default.
- As Julian has been covering, the International Court of Justice is about to rule on whether Japan has the right to hunt whales in the Antarctic (Australia v. Japan), in an emotive case activists say is make-or-break for the giant mammal’s future. For those of you around now (10:00 a.m. Hague time), the streaming video can be found here.
- This year’s UN climate negotiations kicked off again last week in Bonn, Germany.
- For those of you following armed groups or non-international armed conflict, the blog Armed Groups in International Law has posted its latest legal roundup.