24 Aug Weekly News Wrap: Monday, August 24, 2015
24.08.15 | 0 Comments
Your weekly selection of international law and international relations headlines from around the world:
- Suspected Boko Haram militants ambushed a convoy carrying Nigeria’s chief of army staff on a tour of towns in troubled Borno state, the army said early on Sunday.
Middle East and Northern Africa
- The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group has blown up a 2,000-year-old temple in the UNESCO-listed Syrian city of Palmyra, a rights group and the country’s antiquities chief have said.
- The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has said that its troops have rescued a British oil engineer being held hostage by al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen.
- The United States and its coalition partners targeted Islamic State in 26 air strikes in Saturday’s round of daily attacks on the militant group in Iraq and Syria, the Command Joint Task Force said in a statement on Sunday.
- Iran’s foreign minister said on Sunday it was too early to talk of reopening the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, as Britain restored its diplomatic mission four years after protesters ransacked the British ambassador’s residence.
- At least 50 bodies were retrieved from buildings leveled to the ground after Syrian army missiles hit residential areas in the rebel-held northeast of Damascus on Saturday, rescue workers said.
- South Korean President Park Geun-hye demanded on Monday that North Korea apologize over recent landmine blasts, even as the bitter rivals held marathon talks to defuse tensions that have brought the peninsula back to the brink of armed conflict.
- Pakistan has said it cannot accept what it described as India’s “preconditions” for high-level talks, effectively cancelling a planned meeting between the two countries’ national security advisers.
- Japan on Saturday lodged a protest over Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to one of four disputed Pacific islands which have strained ties between the two countries since the end of World War Two.
- A series of attacks in Sweden on beggars, many Roma, has highlighted a dark side to a country considered a bastion of tolerance but where the far right has been gaining support by claiming society is under threat from waves of immigrants.
- Germany’s interior minister has vowed to crack down on right-wing activists and racists after two nights of clashes between protesters and police outside a refugee shelter in an eastern town near Dresden.
- A machine gun-toting attacker wounded three people on a high-speed train in France on Friday before being overpowered by passengers who included an American soldier. Some allegations tie the suspect to Islamist terrorism, while his lawyer says he just intended to rob people on the train because he was hungry.
- About 100 Germans have died fighting within the ranks of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since 2012, according to the country’s interior minister; about 700 had travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside ISIL in the last three years.
- Hundreds of refugees have passed through the Macedonian border from Greece unhindered a day after police used stun grenades in a failed bid to prevent them from crossing.
- Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro on Friday declared a state of emergency along parts of the border with Colombia to restore order after a clash between smugglers and troops left three soldiers wounded. Venezuela’s closure of two border crossings with Colombia hurts innocent people, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos said on Saturday, adding that he hoped to speak to his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro to find a solution.
- Signatories of the Arms Trade Treaty, a major treaty aimed at regulating the international arms trade, should agree a number of key steps for its implementation at a conference this week, host nation Mexico said on Sunday.