Weekly News Wrap: Monday, August 18, 2014
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Kenya is closing its borders to travellers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, the three countries worst hit by the Ebola outbreak, the government has announced.
- Two U.N. peacekeepers were killed and nine others injured in a suicide attack on a patrol base in northern Mali, the U.N. peacekeeping mission (MINUSMA) said on Saturday.
- South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel chief Riek Machar show little interest in making a deal to end months of fighting that has brought the nation to the brink of “man-made” famine, U.N. Security Council envoys said during a visit to East Africa.
- South Korea and the United States have launched an annual military drill despite condemnation by North Korea, according to Seoul’s defense ministry.
- The International Committee of the Red Cross said on Saturday that five of its Afghan staff were kidnapped by a local armed group two days ago in the western province of Herat.
- One of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s main allies in parliament has called for Europe to adopt common arms export regulations, saying there would be an increasing number of European defense companies in future.
- Ukrainian forces have raised their national flag over a police station in the city of Luhansk that was for months under rebel control, in what could be a breakthrough in Ukraine’s efforts to crush pro-Moscow separatists.
- Germany’s foreign intelligence agency eavesdropped on calls made by US Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton, German magazine Der Spiegel has claimed.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Kurdish forces aided by an expanded US air campaign have advanced to within kilometres of Iraq’s largest dam, less than two weeks after it was captured by the Islamic State group. Additionally, Kurdish militants have trained hundreds of Yazidi volunteers at several camps inside Syria to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq.
- The Islamic State group has executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the majority of them civilians, a monitoring group said.
- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday any deal on Gaza’s future had to meet Israel’s security needs, warning Hamas it faced “harsh strikes” if it resumed firing into the Jewish state.
- Saudi Arabia and Kuwait agreed to comply with a United Nations resolution aimed at stopping financing for Islamist militant groups in Syria and Iraq after four of their nationals were named among a group blacklisted.
- A drone attack killed three suspected al Qaeda militants on Saturday in Yemen’s eastern Hadramout province, a local official told Reuters.
- Victims of Colombia’s 50-year-old war pleaded with peace negotiators to reach a deal and said they were willing to forgive heinous acts of cruelty, urging Colombians to unite behind the effort to end the bloodshed.
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has called on jihadists to target the United States, after Washington launched air strikes in Iraq against Islamist fighters calling themselves the Islamic State.
- Iran has given a firm commitment to cooperate with the IAEA investigation into suspected atomic bomb research, the head of the agency said after what he described as a “useful” visit to Tehran on Sunday.
- Staff with the World Health Organization battling an Ebola outbreak in West Africa see evidence the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimates the scale of the outbreak, the UN agency has said.