20 Oct Weekly News Wrap: Monday, October 20, 2014
20.10.14 | 0 Comments
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The top U.N. human rights official in the Democratic Republic of Congo has left the country after the government ordered his expulsion for publishing a report accusing the police of abuses, but a U.N. spokesman said on Sunday he would return.
- At least 22 people, most of them women and children, have been hacked and clubbed to death in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, just days after a similar massacre took place, a government official said.
- A wave of violence hours after Nigeria’s government announced a truce with Boko Haram raised doubt on Sunday about whether more than 200 schoolgirls kidnapped by the Islamist militants will really be released, deflating the new hopes of their parents.
- The UN peacekeeping chief on Saturday urged the Malian government to show a strong signal of its commitment to peace as negotiations with rebels restarted.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The US military has airdropped weapons and supplies to Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian city of Kobane against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group despite its ally Turkey’s declarations opposing such a move.
- Yemen’s Shia Houthi fighters continue to push south in Ibb province, taking over the town of Yarim after dismantling a protest camp blocking the country’s main airport in the capital Sanaa.
- Israeli and Palestinian police kept a tight watch over the al-Aqsa mosque compound on Sunday in Jerusalem amid high tension between Muslims and Jewish visitors to the holy site and calls from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to defend it by “all means”.
- North and South Korea exchanged gunfire on Sunday when the North’s soldiers approached the military border and did not retreat after the South fired warning shots, the South Korean Defence Ministry said.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Indonesia for Joko Widodo’s presidential inauguration on Monday, seeking more help from Southeast Asian leaders in the U.S.-led effort against Islamic State in the Middle East.
- Resuming cyber security cooperation between China and the United States would be difficult because of “mistaken U.S. practices“, China’s top diplomat told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
- Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko has confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Russia on a provisional price for gas deliveries during the coming winter months.
- Following on from the recent arrest in Belgium of Martina Johnson, alleged to have been involved in war crimes in Liberia, Armed Groups and International Law has an interview with Luc Walleyn, victims’ representative in the case.
- European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso will on Monday issue a plea to Britain not to isolate itself in Europe by picking fights over immigration, saying that European Union membership boosts British international clout.
- Sweden released on Sunday a grainy photo of a mysterious vessel in Stockholm’s archipelago, as the military hunted for a foreign submarine or divers in the country’s biggest such mobilization since the Cold War.
- Tens of thousands of Catalans crowded central Barcelona on Sunday calling for early regional elections after plans for a Nov. 9 referendum on independence from Spain were declared illegal by Madrid.
- Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency has concluded that pro-Russian rebels are to blame for the downing of Malaysia Airline MH17 in Ukraine in July, Der Spiegel weekly reported on Sunday, the first European agency to say so.
- U.S-led forces which are bombing Islamic State militants in Syria killed ten civilians in two recent air strikes, a group monitoring the violence said on Saturday.
- Australian police have agreed to assist China in the extradition and seizure of assets of corrupt Chinese officials who have fled with hundreds of millions of dollars in illicit funds, the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper reported on Monday.
- Iraq should stop its widespread use of the death penalty, which is unjust, flawed and only fuels the violence it purports to deter, the United Nations said in a report on Sunday.
- The World Health Organisation (WHO) has promised to undertake and publish a full review of its handling of the Ebola crisis after a leaked document appeared to show the UN agency had failed to do enough to contain the epidemic.