Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- A boat filled with up to 250 African migrants heading for Europe has sunk off the Libyan coast and many passengers have died, a spokesman for the Libyan navy has said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- French President Francois Hollande has called for a global response to counter the Islamic State group, saying it posed a security threat the world over as he opened a conference on Iraq, bringing together members of a US-led coalition.
- Libyan Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni has alleged that Qatar is responsible for sending three military planes loaded with weapons to a Tripoli airport controlled by an armed opposition group.
- Some 500,000 children returned on Sunday to school in the Gaza Strip, where many will be given psychological counseling before regular studies begin after a devastating 50-day war between Palestinian militants and Israel.
- At least 14 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in US air strikes in Afghanistan, officials have said, sparking condemnation from President Hamid Karzai who has often criticised the conduct of the NATO forces.
- China’s President Xi Jinping urged Central Asian states to step up the fight against religious extremism and cyber terrorism, state media said, as Beijing reaches for help across its borders in addressing security concerns in its restive Xinjiang region.
- As Scotland heads to the polls this week to vote on whether to become independent, one country with restive regions of its own is watching the debate unfold with nervousness and some mystification – China.
- British Prime Minister David Cameron will make one of his final visits to Scotland later on Monday four days before a historic independence referendum to warn Scots a vote to leave the United Kingdom is a forever choice. Hundreds of thousands of Catalans packed the streets of Barcelona on Thursday to demand the right to vote on a potential split from Spain, their ambitions boosted by an independence referendum scheduled for later this week in Scotland. For more on the independence vote, we are hosting an Insta-Symposium–watch for updates starting later today.
- Russia’s strength is being tested by sanctions imposed by the West and the country must react in a level-headed way, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told members of the country’s ruling party, United Russia, on Monday.
- Ukraine’s defense minister said on Sunday that NATO countries were delivering weapons to his country to equip it to fight pro-Russian separatists and “stop” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
- Investigators trying to find out who shot down Malaysia Airlines MH17 over eastern Ukraine have recovered 25 pieces of metal from baggage and bodies, which could lead them to the missile believed to have torn apart the airliner.
- The United States said on Friday it would train Liberia’s security forces to assist in isolation operations to tackle an Ebola epidemic ravaging the West African nation, after a boy was killed when soldiers opened fire on a protest last month.
- The United States hit Russia’s largest bank, a major arms maker and arctic, deepwater and shale exploration by its biggest oil companies with new sanctions on Friday to punish Moscow for its intervention in Ukraine.
- The United States signed up Arab allies on Thursday to a “coordinated military campaign” against Islamic State fighters, a major step in building regional support for President Barack Obama’s plan to strike both sides of the Syrian-Iraqi frontier.
- New Zealand was preparing to conduct mass domestic surveillance last year, Glenn Greenwald said on Monday, five days before the country goes to the polls, provoking immediate denials from Prime Minister John Key.
- Disruptions in cross-border trade and marketing in the three West African countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea –have sent food prices soaring, threatening food security in the region, according to an alert issued last week by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization.
- A flurry of meetings is scheduled for the coming weeks as WTO members – having now returned to Geneva following their annual August break – try to pick up the pieces after missing a key implementation deadline this past July.