Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- At least 21 people were killed in the capital of Central African Republic on Saturday and around 100 others were wounded as Muslims attacked a mainly Christian neighborhood, senior hospital officials and a government spokesman said..
- A Norwegian-flagged ship that was held in Kenya for more than a week over undeclared weapons belonging to the United Nations has been released, the owners of the vessel said.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Israel has targeted at least two military installations in air strikes in neighbouring Syria, according to the Israeli military.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned that any attempts to overthrow the government in Syria could lead to a failed state like Iraq or Libya.
- Seventeen Syrian refugees, including five children, have drowned after their boat sank in Turkish waters on its way to Greece, according to local media reports.
- Japan, which accepted just 11 asylum seekers out of 5,000 applications last year, will provide about $810 million in aid in response to refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq, public broadcaster NHK reported on Monday.
- North Korea is planning another satellite launch next month, re-igniting fears that it is really testing a system to deliver nuclear weapons.
- France said Sunday it has launched its first airstrikes against ISIS in Syria in coordination with coalition partners, citing self-defense.
- The gap between Britons who want to remain in the European Union and those who want to leave remains tight ahead of a membership referendum due by the end of 2017, according to two opinion polls on Monday.
- Separatists on Sunday won a clear majority of seats in Catalonia’s parliament in an election that sets the region on a collision course with Spain’s central government over independence.
- Cuba’s President Raul Castro, speaking at the United Nations for the first time, on Saturday hailed renewed diplomatic ties with the United States as “major progress” but slammed a U.S. trade embargo as the top obstacle to Cuba’s economic development.
- The United Nations will open a human rights monitoring office in Honduras this year to guard against possible violations by security forces as they crack down on drug gangs, President Juan Hernandez said on Sunday.
- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Sunday it was vital to coordinate all efforts against the Islamic State militant group in the Middle East but this was not yet happening.
- Australia has reconfirmed its desire for a seat on the UN’s powerful Human Rights Council; however, its international reputation has been battered by a UN human rights official postponing a trip to Australia because, he says, the government refused access to detention centres, and threatened “reprisals”, including jail, against people who spoke to him.
- There are growing calls for the New Zealand government to take action over the treatment of Kiwis held in Australian detention centres, coming after the death two weeks ago of New Zealand-born Junior Togatuki, who was being held in solitary confinement in Goulburn’s Supermax Prison in New South Wales.
- The United Nations high commissioner for refugees said on Saturday the world waited far too long to respond to the refugee crisis sparked by the wars in Syria and elsewhere, though rich countries now appear to understand the scale of the problem.
- The United Nation’s 193 member countries on Friday adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a roadmap to end poverty and hunger, fight inequality and conquer climate change over the next 15 years, or 800 weeks; as world leaders brandish a hard-fought new set of global goals designed to improve lives in all countries, the question of who foots the trillion-dollar bill remained open on Saturday as financial pledges started rolling in.
- It is high time the United Nations Security Council is reformed to reflect the real distribution of power across the world in the 21st century, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday.