Weekly News Wrap: Monday, October 24, 2016
Here’s your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- South Africa is pulling out of the International Criminal Court (ICC)because its obligations are inconsistent with laws giving sitting leaders diplomatic immunity, according to government officials
- Sudan urged African members of the International Criminal Court on Friday to follow South Africain withdrawing from the ICC, insisting it was a “new colonial tool” targeting only African leaders
- Fighters from al-Shabab have seized control of yet another town in central Somalia after it was abandoned by African Union peacekeepers, according to a spokesman for the group and a local official.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The siege and bombing of eastern Aleppo in Syria constitute “crimes of historic proportions” that have caused heavy civilian casualties amounting to “war crimes”, according to the top United Nations human rights official.
- A U.S. navy destroyer sailed near islands claimed by China in the South China Sea on Friday, drawing a warning from Chinese warships to leave the area.
- Shelling across the border between India and Pakistan killed two Pakistani civilians and an Indian soldier, military officials from the two sides said on Monday, as tension between the nuclear-armed neighbors simmers.
- The Afghan Taliban has uploaded a drone footage showing a suicide bomber driving into a police base and blowing it up in the southern Helmand province.
- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday he will return to South Korea in January after heading the world body for a decade to consider what role he can play in the future of his country amid a push for him to run for president.
- NATO forces have begun a new program to train Afghan soldiers to pinpoint ground targets for aircraft flying overhead, hoping that it will help stem militant advances in recent months and reverse a sharp rise in civilian casualties.
- Syrian refugee children have been working in factories in Turkey making clothes for British high street retailer Marks & Spencer and online store ASOS, an investigation by BBC Panorama found.
- More than 1,200 police and officials in France havebegun an operation to clear the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais; the camp has been housing at least 7,000 people in squalid conditions.
- The leaders of Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales met British Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday to discuss what part the three nations will play in the Brexit process, a thorny issue that risks triggering a constitutional crisis.
- President Rodrigo Duterte has declared the Philippines’ “separation” from long-standing ally the United States during a visit in Beijing as he rebalances his country’s diplomacy towards China.
- The U.S. partnership with Turkey in countering Islamic State is “very strong,” U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said at a news conference on Thursday.
- New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Bill English canceled a meeting with two senior Hong Kong democracy supporters this week on advice from his foreign office, he said on Friday, underscoring a delicate relationship with Communist Party-ruled China.
- The Australian government has quietly lifted the threat of jailing doctors who speak out against child abuse and neglect of asylum seekers in detention, doctors’ lawyers revealed on Thursday.
- The United States is campaigning hard against proposed U.N. General Assembly resolution banning nuclear weapons, pressuring treaty allies like South Korea, Japan and NATO members to vote against the resolution, a new report said.; the resolution, led by Austria, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa, calls for the formal launch of negotiations on a nuclear ban in 2017 and the U.N. General Assembly is expected to vote on the resolution as early as next week and proponents expect it to pass easily, according to the Foreign Policy magazine.
- More than 600 United Nations staff members have signed an online petition calling on Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a professed feminist, to reconsider the appointment of the fictitious superhero as its ambassador for women’s empowerment.