13 Apr Weekly News Wrap: Monday, April 13, 2015
13.04.15 | 0 Comments
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Kenya has given the United Nations three months to remove a camp housing more than half a million Somali refugees, as part of a get-tough response to the killing of 148 people by Somali gunmen at a Kenyan university.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- An Egyptian court’s decision to sentence 14 men to death and jail 37 others accused of ties to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood was “politically motivated” and “blatantly unjust”, Human Rights Watch said on Sunday.
- The United States targeted Iran’s record on women’s rights on Friday by calling a rare vote on the country’s “wholly inappropriate” bid to join the executive board of the United Nations gender equality body.
- The leader of Britain’s opposition Labour Party said on Friday he favored recognizing Palestine as a state if such a move would help bring about a broader peace deal in the Middle East.
- South Korean President Park Geun-hye will not attend an event in Moscow to mark the end of World War Two in Europe and instead send an envoy, an official said on Monday, dashing the possibility for a rare summit with the leader of North Korea.
- A U.S. drone strike killed at least four suspected Taliban militants in northwest Pakistan on Sunday, security officials said, as al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent confirmed two of its commanders had been killed in similar attacks this year.
- Bangladesh hanged Islamist opposition leader Muhammad Kamaruzzaman on Saturday for war crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan, a move met with an angry reaction from his supporters who called for a protest strike.
- Euro zone officials were shocked at Greece’s failure to outline plans for structural reforms at last week’s talks in Brussels, a German newspaper on Saturday cited participants as saying, adding the Greek representative behaved like a “taxi driver”.
- Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Sunday that moves by Finland and Sweden toward closer ties with NATO were of “special concern”.
- Italian ships have picked up almost 1700 migrants in inflatable boats and further rescue operations are underway as calm seas favored departures from Libya for the Italian coast, the coast guard said on Sunday.
- Pope Francis sparked a diplomatic row on Sunday by calling the massacre of up to 1.5 million Armenians 100 years ago “the first genocide of the 20th century,” prompting Turkey to accuse him of inciting hatred and to recall its ambassador to the Vatican.
- German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier dismissed on Sunday calls from the radical Left party to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to this year’s summit of the Group of Seven industrial powers.
- In the first meeting of its kind in nearly 60 years, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban leader Raul Castro sat down together for over an hour on Saturday at a regional summit in Panama, moving a step closer to restoring diplomatic ties.
- As the United States and Iran come closer to a historic nuclear deal, many U.S. states are likely to stick with their own sanctions on Iran that could complicate any warming of relations between the long-time foes.
- U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with three air strikes from Saturday to Sunday morning, and also conducted 10 air strikes in Iraq, the U.S. military said.
- A U.S. federal judge on Friday denied a last-minute request by four U.S. former Blackwater guards convicted in the massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqis in 2007 to have their sentencing postponed, and said it will go ahead as planned on Monday.
- New Zealand’s image as a global human rights leader is not backed up by performance at home, a new report says.
- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned of the growing links between organised crime and extremist violence, saying they are feeding off each other “like never before”.
- The head of the U.N. agency responsible for Palestinian refugees called from Damascus on Sunday for safe passage for people wishing to leave the Yarmouk camp on the city fringes that Islamic State insurgents are trying to take over.
- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is calling for an “independent and impartial understanding” of human rights in the disputed North African territory of Western Sahara, according to a report seen by Reuters on Friday.