Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 12, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Boko Haram has released a new video claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted last month, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all of its prisoners held by Nigeria were freed.
- Israel offered Nigeria help in locating 200 schoolgirls abducted last month by Islamist rebel group Boko Haram in an attack that has drawn global condemnation and prompted some Western powers to provide assistance.
- Kidnappers in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region released three Dutch nationals held since May 4.
- South Sudan’s army and rebel forces have blamed each other for violating a ceasefire, just hours after a truce aimed at ending a five-month conflict in the world’s youngest country came into effect.
- China has signed a deal to build a $3.8bn railway link between Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of Mombasa and Nairobi, the first stage of a line that will eventually link neighbouring Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
- Despite China’s denial that there is a problem, concerns over China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea are at the center of the first Southeast regional summit hosted by Myanmar.
- Vietnam’s prime minister even went so far as to tell southeast Asian leaders on Sunday that China was slandering his country and committing dangerous violations in disputed waters.
- Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe issued a strong defense of his economic strategy this week – including a call for advancing trade pacts with the EU, US, and other partners – during his high-profile tour of Europe.
- Top officials from the US and EU have continued to make a strong public push in favor of their planned bilateral trade pact, highlighting the critical nature of such a deal for advancing global trade rule-making and for lowering the EU’s dependence on Russian energy.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Shelling by the Iraqi army in the city of Fallujah has killed more civilians, hospital sources and witnesses have said, amid allegations that government forces were using barrel bombs in an attempt to drive out anti-government fighters from the area.
- A drone strike in eastern Yemen has killed at least five people in the first such raid since the army launched an offensive against al-Qaeda-linked fighters last month.
- At least 40 people have died and 51 have been rescued after a boat carrying migrants sank off Libya’s coast. Libya’s interim interior minister has warned that Tripoli could “facilitate” the passage of those people seeking to get to Europe illegally unless the European Union (EU) helps it combat the problem.
- Saif al-Islam Gaddafi has appeared via videolink at a court in Tripoli.
- Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has reacted furiously to calls in the United States for punitive measures against his government for alleged rights abuses in response to three months of street protests.
- Brazil began deploying 30,000 troops on Saturday to patrol its borders and beef up security for the World Cup soccer tournament that will kick off in 12 Brazilian cities next month, the Defense Ministry said.
- The United Nations has imposed sanctions on the Central African Republic’s former president Francois Bozize and two rebel leaders for undermining peace and fuelling violence in the conflict-torn country.
- Iran’s attempts to illicitly procure materials for its disputed nuclear and missile programs appear to have slowed down as it pursues talks on a long-term accord with world powers, a U.N. expert panel said in a confidential report seen by Reuters.