Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Rebels of the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab have pledged allegiance to their new leader after his predecessor was killed and said their enemies would reap the “bitter fruits” of revenge after Ahmed Godane’s killing, a spokesman said.
- Boko Haram militants early on Saturday attacked another town in northeast Nigeria, pushing southwards in an apparent strategy to carve out an Islamist enclave in the remote north of Africa’s biggest economy, residents and local officials said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The US has launched five air attacks on Islamic State fighters threatening the Haditha dam, as Washington widened its air campaign against the group.
- Saudi Arabia has unveiled a 900km multi-layered fence along its border with Iraq, as part of efforts to secure the kingdom’s vast desert frontiers against infiltrators and smugglers, state media SPA has said.
- The Israeli military has provided its most detailed assessment yet of the conduct and impact of the Gaza war, including photographs indicating that militants stored and fired rockets from schools and a breakdown of the toll inflicted on Hamas.
- With the crisis in Ukraine hanging over his head, Russian President Vladimir Putin touched down in Mongolia on a trip that could prove key to Russian-Mongolian trade ties.
- The Pakistan Taliban has denied claims by the army that the military has killed 910 “terrorists” and lost 82 soldiers since it launched its June offensive against the group in the tribal northeast near the Afghanistan border.
- Ukrainian forces said on Monday they had come under sporadic fire overnight from pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine, but Reuters witnesses said overall a ceasefire agreed between the two sides appeared to be holding.
- NATO staged a major military exercise in Latvia on Saturday in a practical demonstration of NATO leaders’ commitment to defend its Baltic member states in the face of an assertive Russia.
- Greece is slipping into a “danger zone” without the funds or resources to handle a fast-growing wave of refugees trying to enter the European Union from war-torn countries like Syria and Iraq, the government warned on Thursday.
- Two nominations on Thursday for seats on the European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, should allow its president, Jean-Claude Juncker, to appoint as many women as in the outgoing team, meeting a demand from legislators.
- Russia and China are trying to close the technology gap with the U.S. military and developing weapons systems that appear designed to counter traditional U.S. advantages, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.
- Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1bn to settle a substantial portion of claims arising from its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
- Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has sealed a civil nuclear deal to sell uranium to India and also offered to increase supplies of conventional fuel to help it overcome chronic shortages.
- Iran has failed to address concerns about suspected atomic bomb research by an agreed deadline, the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday, a setback to hopes for an end to an international stand-off over Tehran’s atomic activity.
- The United Nations said $600 million in supplies would be needed to fight West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, as the death toll from the worst ever epidemic of the virus topped 1,900 and Guinea warned it had penetrated a new part of the country.