Weekly News Wrap: Monday, February 23, 2015
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A young girl with explosives strapped to her killed five people and wounded dozens at a security checkpoint outside a market in the northeast Nigerian town of Potiskum on Sunday, witnesses said.
- Boko Haram militants attacked an island on Niger’s side of Lake Chad but the army repelled them after heavy fighting, residents and security sources said on Saturday.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- US-led air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group in Syria have killed more than 1,600 people since they began five months ago, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
- The UN special envoy to Syria is travelling to Damascus to try to reduce the fighting which has intensified in Aleppo, where rebels claim to have killed 300 government soldiers in the past week.
- A Moroccan court sentenced a former Spanish soldier to eight years in jail on Friday on charges of leading an Islamist network in the kingdom that was plotting terror attacks, the state news agency MAP said.
- North Korea has banned foreign runners from participating in an international marathon scheduled to be held in the capital in April, citing fears about the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, a Beijing-based travel agency said.
- Nearly three months after police cleared away the last of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy street protests, lingering anger is stoking a new front of radical activism that has turned shopping malls and university campuses into a fresh battleground.
- France’s Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier has started military operations against Islamic State in Iraq, a French army source said on Monday.
- France will support a bid by the African Union to win the backing of the U.N. Security Council for its five-nation force fighting Islamist militant group Boko Haram, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday.
- International investigators looking into the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine last July met for their first joint consultation this week, examining cracks and impact patterns on the jet’s fuselage, Dutch officials said on Friday.
- The Swedish government is shutting down a job coaching program for new immigrants after complaints that it was being used to recruit people for militant groups, a state official said on Friday.
- High-level nuclear negotiations between the United States and Iran resumed in Geneva on Monday as both sides work through technical and political differences to come up with an initial deal by a March 31 deadline.
- Indonesia has recalled its new ambassador to Brazil after the South American country stopped him taking part in a credentials ceremony following the execution of a Brazilian national for drugs trafficking.
- Australian air force personnel have begun training on armed drones in the United States, Australian defense officials said on Monday, less than a week after Washington said it would begin exporting the controversial weapons system.
- Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that his government will tighten immigration laws and crack down on groups that incite hatred under a raft of counterterrorism measures introduced in a bid to combat the threat from “home-grown terrorists”.
- United Nations war crimes investigators plan to publish names of suspects involved in Syria’s four-year war and push for new ways to bring them to justice, in a radical change of strategy announced on Friday.