21 Sep Weekly News Wrap: Monday, September 21, 2015
21.09.15 | 0 Comments
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Three blasts struck the northeastern Nigerian city of Maiduguri, a military spokesman said on Sunday, a day after a new audio message purportedly from Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau accused the army of lying about successes against the militants.
- More than 1,500 people have been quarantined in Sierra Leone to stop the spread of the Ebola virus.
- At least five people were killed in a suicide bomb attack on Sunday in the northern Cameroon town of Mora, military sources said, in what appeared to be the latest cross-border attack by Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamist militant group.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in an interview with a U.S. television network that aired on Sunday that Tehran and Washington “have taken the first steps” toward decreasing their enmity due to a landmark nuclear accord.
- Lebanese communist fighters gear up to battle ISIL; the establishment of such groups reflects a growing uncertainty about the army’s ability to protect Lebanon’s borders.
- At least 55 militants were killed when Turkish warplanes hit Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq overnight, security sources said on Saturday, as Ankara shows no sign of easing up strikes on insurgents ahead of a Nov. 1 election.
- Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told his U.S. counterpart on Friday that Moscow’s military activities in Syria were “defensive in nature,” a senior U.S. defense official said after the 50-minute phone call.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has backed the establishment of an airbase in neighboring Belarus, the latest move by Moscow to project its military power abroad.
- When World War II ended, allied forces made it a condition of surrender for Japan to have a military limited only to self defence; 70 years later, Japan says it needs a stronger military and has passed a law that could lead to its forces being deployed abroad.
- China said on Friday it was “extremely concerned” about a suggestion from a top U.S. commander that U.S. ships and aircraft should challenge China’s claims in the South China Sea by patrolling close to artificial islands it has built.
- A senior U.S. defense official said on Thursday that additional sanctions were a possible response to any North Korea missile launch and the commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific said he favored deployment of a U.S. anti-missile system in South Korea.
- With a troubled peace plan for the Ukrainian conflict nearing its deadline, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg will attempt a balancing act to reassure Kiev of the West’s support without antagonizing Moscow when he visits Ukraine on Monday.
- Bitterly-divided European leaders will seek to find a credible response to the continent’s worst migration crisis since World War Two at an emergency summit this week.
- Croatia said on Saturday it had “forced” Hungary to take in thousands of migrants and would continue sending them to its northern neighbor, amid deepening discord and disarray in Europe over the biggest westwards migration in decades.
- The United Kingdom is “living on borrowed time” if the government fails to listen to Scottish voters, Scottish nationalist leader Nicola Sturgeon said on Friday, the first anniversary of an independence referendum.
- The United States will increase the number of refugees it takes in by 15,000 over each of the next two years, bringing the total to 100,000 by 2017, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said after talks with his German counterpart on Sunday.
- The United States announced new rules on Friday to further ease trade, travel and investment restrictions with Cuba, but Cuban President Raul Castro told President Barack Obama that Washington should go even further and lift its economic embargo on the Communist-ruled island.
- Australia on Monday swore in its first female defense minister, Senator Marise Payne, who will oversee open-ended military engagements in two countries and some of the country’s most important defense contracts in a generation.
- The U.N. nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, which is investigating whether Iran carried out work related to developing a nuclear bomb, said on Sunday its chief had visited a sensitive military site during a trip to the country.
- Another month, another record; data from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) rated August 2015 as the warmest August on record.