Weekly News Wrap: Monday, June 9, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A Liberia-flagged oil tanker has gone missing off the coast of Ghana and a senior port official told Reuters on Saturday the captain sent a distress call to say the vessel was attacked by pirates.
- Up to 37 people including women and children were killed in Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern province of South Kivu on Saturday in an attack that government officials blamed on a dispute over cattle.
- A female suicide bomber killed herself and a soldier outside an army barracks in Nigeria’s northeastern city of Gombe on Sunday, the military said, as local leaders reported the death count from a string of earlier militant attacks had reached 110.
- Taliban militants disguised as security forces stormed Pakistan’s busiest airport (Karachi International) on Sunday and at least 27 people were killed in a dramatic night-long battle at one of the country’s most high-profile targets.
- China confirmed that it will participate for the first time in a major U.S.-hosted naval drill this month, sending four ships including a destroyer and frigate, even as deep military distrust persists between the two countries.
- China has accused Vietnam of ramming its ships more than 1,400 times in a disputed part of the South China Sea and said while it wanted good relations with its neighbor, it would not abandon principles to achieve that.
- Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan inked a deal last week to formally establish an economic union between them, capping approximately two decades’ worth of talks.
- Ukraine’s new president Petro Poroshenko said his country would never give up Crimea and would not compromise on its path towards closer ties with Europe, spelling out a defiant message to Russia in his inaugural speech on Saturday.
- Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will restart talks on Russian natural gas supplies to try to resolve a disagreement over price.
- Russia would consider any further expansion of NATO forces near its borders a “demonstration of hostile intentions” and would take political and military measures to ensure its own security, a senior diplomat was quoted on Monday as saying.
- Tens of thousands of Basques held hands on Sunday to form a 123-km chain stretching across the northern Spanish region calling for the right to hold a vote on independence.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The United Arab Emirates has introduced a new law requiring compulsory military service for adult males.
- Iranian, U.S. and European Union officials will start two days of talks about Tehran’s nuclear program on Monday, Iran said, giving its first word about what appears to be a bid to rescue faltering wider negotiations on ending a decade-old dispute.
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced a wide-ranging amnesty on Monday, less than a week after he was re-elected to another seven-year term in the midst of civil war.
- Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has said Turkey and Iran are determined to stand against violence and extremism in the Middle East during a trip to Ankara.
- Colombia’s government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) have agreed to set up a truth commission that addresses the deaths of thousands of people in five decades of the country’s conflict.
- The US Commerce Department announced on Tuesday that it would be imposing preliminary countervailing duties on imports of certain Chinese crystalline silicon photovoltaic products – including solar cells, modules, laminates, and/or panels.
- The kidnapping of 200 Nigerian girls and several recent horrific murders of women is expected to raise pressure on the world community to take concrete action to punish those responsible for sexual violence at a global summit in London this week.
- A UN group tasked with formulating a proposed set of sustainable development goals (SDGs) will for the first time consider a zero draft of a possible text at its next meeting later this month