Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday.
- South Sudan rebels killed, raped and kidnapped civilians during an attack in October, leaving at least 11 people dead, the UN says in a report.
- Up to 10,000 children have been recruited by armed groups during the conflict in the Central African Republic despite a U.N.-backed peacekeeping presence, the number rising sharply in the past two years, Save the Children said on Thursday.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Arab Gulf countries have vowed they will not cut oil production or hold an emergency meeting, despite a glut in global supplies and plummeting oil prices.
- Syria said on Sunday that an Israeli drone had been brought down in the province of Quneitra near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.
- Jordan executed 11 citizens on Sunday, ending an eight-year moratorium on capital punishment, judicial sources said.
- Despite fears of violence, thousands of Pakistanis in Peshawar are mourning the loss of 149 people – mainly children – killed by the Taliban in an attack on a military-run school.
- China aims to “regulate” foreign non-governmental organizations under a law being discussed this week, state media said on Monday, which aims to step up supervision of the fast-growing sector.
- A senior Chinese leader will visit Vietnam this month, China’s state media said on Monday, amid tension between the neighbors over competing claims in the South China Sea.
- China said on Monday it opposed all forms of cyberattacks but there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the hacking of Sony Pictures, as the United States has said. U.S. President Barack Obama moved to prevent U.S. anger at North Korea from spiraling out of control on Sunday by saying the massive hacking of Sony Pictures was not an act of war but instead was cyber-vandalism. North Korea denies involvement and wants a joint investigation with the United States into the hack.
- Short, snappy and focused on two priorities – reviving sagging investment in Europe and standing firm towards Russia, the first European Union summit under new leadership was a demonstrative break with the past.
- European and Russian leaders were both defiant in the face of economic tensions on 18 December, with EU leaders announcing new sanctions on Crimea and Russian President Vladimir Putin warning his country of two years of recession.
- European security watchdog the OSCE prolonged the mandate of its observer mission at two Russian checkpoints on the border with Ukraine by three months on Thursday, the longest extension so far.
- Italian finance police on Wednesday arrested 17 people accused of running an international money laundering ring through a British-based money transfer services company which was used to shuttle illegal proceeds abroad, mostly to China.
- Cuban President Raul Castro has confirmed he will participate in the Washington-backed Summit of the Americas in Panama in April, where he will potentially have his first meeting with US President Barack Obama since the two countries agreed on Wednesday to reestablish diplomatic ties.
- U.S.-led forces attacked Islamic State targets on Sunday with 13 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria, using fighter, bomber and other aircraft, the U.S. military said.
- Four Afghans held for more than a decade at Guantanamo Bay detention facility have been returned to their home country, the Pentagon has said.
- President Barack Obama on Friday said he would ban exports of goods, technology or services to Ukraine’s Crimea region, and called on Russia to end its annexation of the region.
- Colombia welcomed an offer by FARC rebels for a ceasefire but rejected their demand for independent monitoring, putting the plan to stop hostilities on uncertain ground hours before it was to start.
- The UN General Assembly has called for North Korea to be referred to the International Criminal Court over alleged crimes against humanity, in a landmark resolution adopted by a strong majority.