Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- The two main factions in the Central African Republic’s conflict have taken a tentative step towards ending violence that has killed thousands and forced more than a million people to flee their homes.
- India’s domestically-produced Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) has blasted off from the southern spaceport of Sriharikota, carrying satellites from France, Germany, Canada and Singapore.
- Pakistan has launched a ground offensive against rebel strongholds near the Afghan border after evacuating nearly half a million people from the tribal region, the army has said.
- North Korea has said it will put two US tourists on trial for committing crimes against the state, dimming any hopes among their families that they would soon be released.
- EU leaders have nominated Jean-Claude Juncker for European Commission president by an overwhelming majority over the fierce objections of David Cameron, UK prime minister, who has called it “a bad day for Europe”.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said government forces would renew offensive operations against rebels and “free our lands”, hours after a ceasefire to allow for peace talks with the pro-Russian separatists had expired.
- The EU signed a historic free-trade pact with Ukraine on Friday and warned it could impose more sanctions on Moscow unless pro-Russian rebels act to wind down the crisis in the east of the country by Monday.
- More than 5,000 migrants have been picked up by the Italian navy in the past 48 hours in several rescue operations between Sicily and North Africa.
- Bosnia has marked 100 years since the murder of Austrian prince Franz Ferdinand in the city, an act that lit the fuse for the First World War.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- Hours after three bodies of missing teenagers were found in the Occupied West Bank by the Israeli army, Israeli aircraft bombed dozens of sites in the Gaza Strip, and troops opened fire and killed a Palestinian during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian medics said.
- Newly elected Iraqi lawmakers convene on Tuesday, under pressure to name a unity government to keep the country from splitting apart after an onslaught by Sunni Islamists who have declared a “caliphate” to rule over all the world’s Muslims.
- The US has armed drones flying over Baghdad to protect US troops that have recently arrived to assess Iraq’s deteriorating security, the Pentagon said on Friday.
- The White House says the US will no longer produce or acquire anti-personnel landmines in the future and intends to join the Ottawa Convention that bans their use.
- BNP Paribas has pleaded guilty to two criminal charges and agreed to pay $8.83 billion in a broad agreement with US authorities over charges the French bank violated US sanctions laws.
- A U.N. expert panel has concluded that a shipment of rockets and other weapons that was seized by Israel came from Iran and represents a violation of the U.N. arms embargo on Tehran, according to a confidential report obtained by Reuters on Friday.