Weekly News Wrap: Monday, August 22, 2016
Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A military court in the Democratic Republic of Congo has begun the trial of 215 members of an armed group accused of killing hundreds of civilians in and around Beni town in the country’s northeast.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and counterparts from eight African nations meet in Nairobi on Monday to discuss ways to prevent South Sudan from sliding back into civil war and advance a political transition in Somalia.
- A suicide bomber on a motorbike killed three people and wounded 24 at a market in north Cameroon, where armed group Boko Haram has been waging an armed rebellion since 2009, authorities said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- A Syrian army helicopter dropped incendiary “barrel bombs” on the only hospital in besieged, opposition-held Daraya early on Friday, putting it out of action, rebels and a war monitor said.
- Syrian government jets have continued to pound Kurdish-controlled parts of the northeastern city of Hasakah for a second day, killing at least 22 residents and forcing thousands to flee.
- Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack on a traffic police post outside Moscow on Wednesday in which both attackers were killed, calling it revenge for Russia’s aerial bombing campaign in Syria.
- A newly-formed governing council in Yemen could work with Russia to “fight terrorism” by allowing Moscow use of the war-torn country’s military bases, Yemen’s former president said on Sunday.
- Japan aims to develop a prototype drone fighter jet in two decades with private sector help in a technology strategy that focuses on weapons communications and lasers, according to a document seen by Reuters.
- China’s navy has carried out drills in the Sea of Japan, the Chinese military’s official newspaper said on Friday, describing the exercises as routine and done in accordance with international law and practice.
- China is eyeing the use of a high level of artificial intelligence and automation for its next generation of cruise missiles, a senior designer was quoted as saying on Friday.
- The United States and South Korea kicked off annual military exercises on Monday, prompting warnings of retaliation from the North, as already-heightened tension on the peninsula has been inflamed by the defection of a Pyongyang diplomat.
- Vietnam, with its strong export-led economy and potential for growth, is tipped to significantly benefit from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
- A Dutch-based lawyer for a Palestinian human rights organization has been the target of a campaign of intimidation she believes is aimed at discouraging her cooperation with the International Criminal Court, and suspects Israel as being behind the campaign.
- Germany’s interior minister has proposed a partial ban of the burqa, the full-face veil worn by some Muslim women, as a nationwide debate rages over integration.
- Nice has become the latest French resort to ban the burkini, the full-body Islamic swimsuit that has sparked heated debate in secular France.
- British Prime Minister Theresa May will not begin formal divorce talks on leaving the European Union before the end of the year, a government spokeswoman said on Friday.
- Racial inequality is getting worse in the United Kingdom, with young black people and ethnic minorities suffering “institutional racism” and “unfairness” in the fields of education, employment and the criminal justice system, a human rights watchdog has said, noting an “unprecedented spike” in incidents since the Brexit vote concluded.
- The FBI and U.S. Justice Department are investigating possible U.S. ties to alleged corruption involving the former president of Ukraine, including the work of firms headed by political operatives Paul Manafort and Tony Podesta, CNN reported on Friday, citing multiple U.S. law enforcement officials.
- The United States is looking at whether Russia has violated a U.N. Security Council resolution on military dealings with Tehran by using an Iranian air base to carry out strikes inside Syria, the State Department said on Wednesday.
- Concerns raised by activists around negotiations for the regional trade deal called PACER PLUS have been dismissed by a spokesperson for the Pacific Island Forum countries.
- The United Nations acknowledged on Thursday that it played a role in the 2010 Haiti cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 10,000 Haitians and infected more than 770,000.
- The Philippine is not leaving the United Nations, the foreign minister said on Monday, a day after President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to quit the body after it called for an end to the wave of killings unleashed by his war on drugs.
- Experts from the United Nations have warned that an increasing number of adept fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and al-Qaeda are using encrypted messaging and dark-web forums to covertly plan potential attacks after returning home.
- South Sudan’s former vice president and opposition leader Riek Machar “is in the care” of the authorities in the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the United Nations has said, several weeks after he withdrew from the capital Juba during fierce fighting with government troops.