China to impose additional tariff on $50 bn worth of US goods

China will impose a 25% additional tariff on $50 billion worth of US goods in response to a US tariff hike on Chinese goods, said China’s finance ministry on Wednesday. The date of implementation will depend on when the US tariff changes take place. China’s list of goods to tariff included several of the US key exports, including types of tobacco, alcohol, automobiles, chemicals and aircrafts. See more here.

Israel's defence minister rejects UN calls for inquiry in to Palestinian protest deaths

Israel’s defence minister rejected calls for an inquiry into the killing of 15 Palestinians by Israeli security forces shooting at a Palestinian protest at the Gaza Israel border on Friday. The violence was met by calls from the UN Secretary General for an immediate independent and transparent investigation into the deaths of Palestinian civilians. Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberment, rejected condemnation of Israel’s actions, claiming that soldiers along the Gaza border did what was necessary to protect the border. “As for the commission of inquiry there won’t be one,” he added in an...

ICC takes Malian war crimes suspect into custody

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has taken into custody a suspect implicated with war crimes and crimes against humanity in Mali. Al Hasan Ag Abdoul Aziz Ag Mohamed, was indicted for crimes committed as de-facto chief of Islamic police in Timbuktu in 2012 and 2013. Crimes which included destroying cultural monuments and enforcing policies that led to the sexual enslavement of women and girls, reports Reuters. Judges at the Hague said prosecutors had presented enough evidence to issue an arrest warrant for crimes against humanity including “torture, rape and sexual slavery; persecution...

UN calls for 'independent and transparent' investigation into Palestinian deaths

The United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent and transparent investigation into the deaths and injuries along Gaza’s border with Israel. Following an emergency meeting on Friday, deputy spokesperson for the UN Sec-Gen Farhan Haq said that Guterres wants an “independent transparent investigation.” The Security Council stopped short of releasing a joint message or sanctioning joint action for the violence that saw 15 Palestinians killed and over 720 wounded by Israeli fire as thousands marched to Gaza’s border with Israel. The Palestinian ambassador, Riyad...

Russia expels 59 diplomats from 23 countries, asks UK to remove further diplomatic staff

Russia has expelled 59 diplomats from 23 countries and asked Britain to cut “just over 5o” of its diplomatic mission in Russia, reports Reuters. On Friday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry summoned British Ambassador Laurie Bristow and told him that the UK had one month to cut its diplomatic contingent in Russia to the same size as the Russian mission in Britain. “We have asked for parity. The Brits have 50 diplomats more than Russians,” said the Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

UN Security Council approves further sanctions on North Korea

The UN Security Council has blacklisted 27 ships and 21 shipping companies for aiding North Korea’s efforts to circumvent sanctions, reports the BBC. The sanctions from the UN’s largest ever package of designated penalties against North Korea. The measures were proposed last month by the US. The US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, described the latest measures as a “clear sign that the international community was united” in its efforts to increase pressure on the North Korean regime. Diplomats suggest that heightening sanctions on North Korea have been key to the leader Kim Jong-un’s...

Colombia's justice tribunal gathers evidence for first hearing

Colombia’s transitional justice tribunal for rights violations committed by former leaders of the government's military and FARC militants started collecting evidence this month to prepare for its first hearings. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP) tribunal, founded under the 2016 peace deal between the government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is set to try cases representative of the a litany of rights violations committed during the armed conflict. Speaking to press the JEP president Mirtha Patricia Linares said, This is a historic moment that marks the starting...

US places sanctions on Pakistan

The United States last week announced that it was imposing sanctions on Pakistani companies for alleged links to nuclear trade, reports Voice of America. A statement released by Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said, “Pakistan believes that there should be no undue restrictions on the access to dual-use items and technologies for peaceful and legitimate purposes. Pakistan has always been transparent and willing to engage with the suppliers of the dual-use items.” The list of banned entities contains companies that the US determined to be “acting contrary to the national security and...

21 countries align to expel Russian officials over chemical attack in UK

At least twenty one counrtues have aligned with Britain resulting in the expulsion of over 100 Russian officials reports the BBC. The President of the United States Donald Trump confirmed that it would expel 60 Russian diplomats, alongside governments across Europe who are taking action against Russia for a chemical attack on a former Russian spy in Britain. European Union leaders last week said that evidence of Russian involvement in the attack which had been presented by British Prime Minister Theresa May was a solid basis for further action against Russia. The European Council President...

Protesters clash with police in Barcelona after Puigdemont arrested in Germany

Protesters in Catalonia clashed with police last night after the Catalan leader, Carles Puigdemont was arrested in Germany. A European arrest warrant against Mr Puigdemont was ordered and reissued last week by Spain for sedition and rebellion. Mr Puigdemont was crossing through Germany on his way from Denmark to Belgium. He has been living away from Spain since shortly after the Catalonian parliament declared independence in October 2017. Over 55,000 protesters gathered in Barcelona, decrying the German authorities actions.

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