Weekly News Wrap: Monday, May 26, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Suspected Islamist Boko Haram gunmen rampaged through three villages in northern Nigeria, killing 28 people and burning houses to the ground in a pattern of violence that has become almost a daily occurrence, according to police and witnesses.
- A Rwandan peacekeeper was killed in Sudan’s western Darfur region on Saturday when tribal militia fighters attending a peace meeting started shooting.
- Al Shabaab militants stormed Somalia’s parliament on Saturday, killing at least 10 security officers in a bomb and gun assault.
- Fifty Malian soldiers died this week during a failed army attempt to seize the Tuareg separatist northern town of Kidal.
- At least three Muslim youths were killed and mutilated by a Christian militia in the Central African Republic while on their way to play in a reconciliation football game between the two faiths.
- Japan and China have traded accusations after China scrambled fighter jets when Japanese military aircraft entered an air defense zone declared by Beijing over the East China Sea.
- The Islamist Taliban have freed most of the 27 prisoners captured last week in Afghanistan’s northern Badakhanshan province, but three remained captive because of their senior rank.
- President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday that Russia is ready for talks with Japan over disputed Pacific Islands but that Japan may not be ready for negotiations.
- Taiwan is building a $100 million port next to an airstrip on the lone island it occupies in the disputed South China Sea, a move that is drawing hardly any flak from the most assertive player in the bitterly contested waters – China.
- Far-right and anti-EU parties in France and the UK have made sweeping gains in the European Parliament elections.
- Germany’s national security council declined two-thirds of applications for arms export licenses at its most recent sitting three weeks ago.
- A party that wants to dissolve Belgium was the chief winner of a parliamentary election on Sunday, setting the scene for months of deadlock before a new government can be formed.
- Britain’s finance ministry stepped up its attack on the Scottish government’s independence plans on Monday, saying it had not fully budgeted for setting up a new administration that could cost Scottish taxpayers over 1.5 billion pounds ($2.5 billion).
- The EU filed a new WTO complaint against Russia on Wednesday, marking the third trade dispute the 28-nation bloc has launched against Moscow in less than a year.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Bahrain has released one of the Gulf kingdom’s most prominent human rights activists, Nabeel Rajab, after he completed a two-year jail sentence for his role in protests calling for democratic reforms.
- Yemen’s security forces on Sunday killed a senior al Qaeda leader wanted for attacks on local and foreign targets in Sanaa, the Yemeni government said, after a raid near the capital in which at least four other militants died.
- Washington is considering using visa restrictions to prevent Chinese nationals from attending popular summer hacking conferences in Las Vegas as part of a broader effort to curb Chinese cyber espionage.
- The United States has cancelled a joint military training exercise with Thailand, visits by top military officers and a police training programme over the country’s military coup.
- President Barack Obama made a surprise trip to Afghanistan on Sunday to visit U.S. forces who are wrapping up a 13-year mission and signaled that he intends to keep a small number of troops in the country for training and counter-terrorism operations.
- Australia’s Anti-Dumping Commission has launched an investigation into allegations that Chinese companies have been dumping crystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar panels and modules on the domestic market, officials announced last week.
- Trade ministers and senior officials meeting in Singapore earlier this week pledged to “intensify engagement” on talks for the 12-country Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement.