27 Jul Weekly News Wrap: Monday, July 27, 2015
27.07.15 | 1 Comment
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The Somali militant Islamist group al Shabaab attacked a Mogadishu hotel on Sunday, driving a car packed with explosives through the hotel gate and killing at least 13 people, a first responder and the rebel group said.
- The European Union is ready to impose sanctions on Burundians failing to help end the Central African nation’s crisis, the EU’s foreign policy chief said on Thursday, following elections that Brussels and Washington say were not credible.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Yemeni forces allied with a Saudi-led coalition fought Houthi militia for control of the country’s largest air base north of Aden on Sunday, hours before a humanitarian truce declared by the coalition was meant to start, residents said.
- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has pledged to win his country’s long-running civil war while acknowledging his troops are struggling to maintain control over territory amid lack of manpower.
- Masked rock-throwing Palestinians and Israeli police using stun grenades clashed on Sunday at al-Aqsa mosque plaza, on the annual Jewish day of mourning for Jerusalem’s two destroyed Biblical temples.
- Bahrain said on Saturday it had foiled an arms smuggling plot by two Bahrainis with ties to Iran and announced the recall of the Gulf island kingdom’s ambassador to Tehran for consultations after what it said were repeated hostile Iranian statements.
- Chinese authorities plan to start a second cruise ship link to the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea, state media reported on Monday, in a move that may irk Vietnam, which also claims the islets.
- China said on Friday it had every right to drill in the East China Sea close to waters disputed with Japan, adding that it did not recognize a “unilateral” Japanese median line setting out a boundary between the two in the waters.
- The start of the trial of a former Soviet army officer accused of being a Taliban fighter has been postponed by a day until Tuesday, court records showed late on Sunday.
- Jens Stoltenberg, NATO secretary-general, has called an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss security at the request of Turkey after last week’s suicide bombing there and ongoing Turkish security operations on two fronts.
- Turkey has declared war on ISIL in a major shift in policy. Authorities would argue that its decision to militarily engage the armed group is a natural response from a country under threat.
- Thailand on Friday indicted 72 people suspected of involvement in human trafficking, just days before the United States issues its latest assessment of the country’s anti-trafficking efforts next week.
- Belgium has arrested two former detainees of Guantanamo prison on charges of terrorism, saying the men are suspected of seeking recruits to fight in Syria, the federal prosecutor’s office said on Friday.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Sunday he wanted to use a four-day trade mission to southeast Asia to spur lucrative business deals and to forge new political alliances to counter Islamist extremism.
- Britain will hold a referendum on its membership of the European Union within the next 12 months, the Independent on Sunday said, as the Prime Minister believes pressing ahead with a vote gives the best chance to win concessions from the rest of Europe.
- U.S. troops will begin training regular Ukrainian military forces later this year in an expansion of their current mission, which so far has been limited to instructing Interior Ministry national guard units, the State Department said on Friday.
- Cuban leaders pledged to keep socialism alive but toned down the anti-U.S. rhetoric at Cuba’s first national holiday since re-establishing diplomatic relations with the United States on July 20.
- Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos ordered a halt to air raids against FARC rebel camps as the government seeks to cool hostilities with the Marxist group while the two sides hammer out a peace accord to end five decades of war.
- An Australian nurse alleged to have given medical assistance to Islamic State militants fighting in Syria could face arrest for violating tough new security laws when he lands in Sydney on Friday, police and officials said.
- South Sudan should lift restrictions on transporting aid supplies using the River Nile, a vital mode of movement in the war-torn country that has almost no proper roads, the United Nations’ humanitarian chief said on Saturday.
- The United Nations Security Council is due to vote on Wednesday on a bid for an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing a passenger airliner last year in Ukraine, but Russia said on Friday it was likely to block the move.