08 Dec Weekly News Wrap: Monday, December 8, 2014
08.12.14 | 0 Comments
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The International Criminal Court has withdrawn charges of crimes against humanity against Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, a decision met with mixed reaction.
- Suspected rebels stabbed and hacked to death at least a dozen people in a village in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Saturday, a local government official said, in the latest in a series of attacks on civilians.
- Kenya’s police squads have admitted for the first time to carrying out extrajudicial killings. Speaking to Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit, the officers discussed their involvement in the Kenyan government’s assassination program targeting suspected Muslim radicals.
- Nigeria detained a Russian cargo plane and its French-speaking crew on Saturday after it made an unauthorised landing in the northern city of Kano with military hardware bound for neighbouring Chad, a security source said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Israel’s military said it had opened eight new criminal investigations into its Gaza war operations, including cases involving the deaths of 30 Palestinians.
- The Syrian government has been accused of using chlorine gas against the Islamic State of the Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the latest allegations of chemical weapons use in the country’s bitter conflict.
- Syrian state television said on Sunday that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.
- U.S. special forces stormed a walled compound in a remote Yemeni village early on Saturday in an attempt to free Western hostages held by an al Qaeda unit, but an American journalist and a South African teacher were killed by their captors, officials said.
- China’s foreign ministry rebuked the U.S. Congress on Monday after legislators passed a bill allowing the sale of second-hand warships to Taiwan, the self-ruled island which Beijing claims as a renegade province.
- The United States will keep up to 1,000 more soldiers than previously planned in Afghanistan into next year, outgoing U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday, in a recognition of the still formidable challenge from Taliban insurgents.
- Spanish rescue teams said they had called off their search for more than 20 migrants who fell off their boat into the Mediterranean on Friday.
- Britain has signed a landmark deal with Bahrain that will bolster the UK’s military presence in the Persian Gulf and give it a permanent naval base in the area more than forty years after it withdrew from the region.
- Anti-Semitic threats and incidents have more than doubled so far this year in France, said the interior minister at a rally on Sunday to protest a violent attack on a young Jewish couple.
- France said on Friday it had agreed to put $60 million into a fund managed by the United States to compensate Holocaust victims deported by French state rail firm SNCF to Nazi death camps, a deal that protects it from future U.S. litigation.
- After months of delay, the United States completed the transfers of six detainees from the Guantanamo Bay detention facility to Uruguay.
- A long-awaited Senate report condemning torture by the CIA has not even been made public yet, but former President George W. Bush’s team has decided to link arms with former intelligence officials and challenge its conclusions.
- Australia has introduced controversial temporary visas for refugees and asylum seekers in a move aimed at tightening immigration laws.
- Relatives of MH17 crash victims, angered by what they see as Dutch mishandling of inquiries into the disaster, want a special U.N. envoy to launch an international investigation.
- Two-thirds of the U.N. Security Council’s members pushed on Friday for the human rights situation in North Korea to be added to the council’s agenda and for a formal meeting to be held this month, a move that cannot be blocked by Pyongyang ally China.
- Opium poppy cultivation in the heroin-producing ‘Golden Triangle’ – the area adjoining Myanmar, Laos and Thailand – has nearly tripled since 2006, according to a new UNODC report.