Let Me Be Brave in the Attempt

08/08/2016

In the news

Annual joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. will go ahead as planned despite a warning of retaliation last week from North Korea. North Korea protests the drills because it believes that part of the training is targeted toward preparing troops for an invasion intended to kill top leaders in the nation.

A former Guantanamo “forever prisoner” will be released after over a decade in detention. The Periodic Review Board has suggested that Yemeni citizen Hayl Aziz al Maythali be released to an Arabic-speaking country.

The U.S. is set to halt a $300 million payment to Pakistan because the country has apparently not taken sufficient action against a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, the Haqqani Network. The Pakistani Embassy, however, stated that previous funds have led to improved national security in Pakistan because they helped to destroy terrorist infrastructure on the country’s border with Afghanistan.

As a result of joint efforts with their Bosnian counterpart, Brazil’s federal prosecutors office released a statement announcing that a man, Nikola Ceranic, wanted since 1992 for committing war crimes against civilians in the former Yugoslavia has been arrested.

Melting ice in Greenland is uncovering a covert U.S. Army base, Camp Century, that was abandoned decades ago. The camp was established to house nuclear weapons during the Cold War, but eventually closed in 1966 because shifting ice made it too difficult to maintain its underground tunnels.

A French restaurant worker discovered a grenade in a sack of potatoes he was peeling. The potatoes came from an area in northern France where unexploded wartime weaponry are still found today.

In Ukraine there are concerns that the war in the eastern part of the nation may be re-escalating. Leaders in Kyiv are considering reintroducing martial law in frontline border regions and suspending elections until Russian troops withdraw from Ukraine. Meanwhile, separatist leaders are calling on their respective self-proclaimed republics to retaliate, and Western leaders are focused on the conflict in Syria as well as upcoming elections.

Leaked confidential documents indicate that the U.N. may be prepared to oversee the recently proposed humanitarian aid corridors in Aleppo if a cessation in hostilities is established. U.N. support of these corridors is controversial because there is concern that the evacuation of civilians could lead to more indiscriminate attacks in the city, and further escalate the conflict.

Thousands of internally displaced Iraqi villagers may have been captured, and a dozen of them executed, by ISIS on Thursday.

Taliban militants are reportedly holding hostage the crew of a Pakistani helicopter that went down over Afghanistan. It is not yet clear what the helicopter was doing in Afghan airspace.

A group calling itself the General Foundation for Prisoner’s Affairs requested the return of prisoners held in Syria and Lebanon in exchange for the bodies of the crew of a Russian Mi-8 chopper. The helicopter was shot down after it had just delivered humanitarian aid to Aleppo.

In other news out of Syria, the battle for Aleppo continues between rebels and Syrian and Russian forces. Seventeen civilians were left dead after three separate attacks last week, bringing into question whether peace talks can be fruitful; however, UN officials remain hopeful.

Six tourists were injured in Afghanistan when their van was struck by a rocket in the city of Herat. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the tourists were there for mysterious reason.

A new law in Israel will allow the detention of children as young as twelve for “terrorist offences,” as well as a number of other serious offenses. Supporters of the law have cited the need for a crackdown following the uptick of attacks in recent months.

Ten refugee athletes stepped out Friday night during the Opening Ceremonies to compete in the Rio Olympics under the Olympic flag.

The Egyptian military claims to have killed the leader of the Sinai branch of ISIS, along with over forty-five other terrorists in raids and airstrikes in northern Sinai.

Half a dozen suspected fighters connected to ISIS were arrested in Indonesia for allegedly plotting a rocket attack on Singapore. Amidst fears of the occurrence of more domestic attacks, Singapore’s neighboring nations, Malaysia and Indonesia, are struggling to curb the outflow of their citizens to fight for ISIS.

Japan’s recently appointed defense minister, Tomomi Inada, has sparked outrage after stating that whether Japan’s actions during World War II could be categorized as acts of aggression or self-defense “depends on one’s point of view.”The neighboring nations of China and South Korea view the comment in conjunction with several visits to a Japanese war memorial honoring fallen Japanese soldiers, including those that were found guilty of committing war crimes, as an endorsement of the war crimes committed.

Australia may change its laws to allow the federal attorney general to appeal a court for extensions in sentences for inmates convicted under terrorism laws.  If the change is approved, the extensions may not exceed three years, but there will be no limit on the amount of times such a detention order may be renewed.

Around the web

Yemenis Fleeing War and Ethiopians Escaping Drought Meet in Djibouti. Laura Secorun writes about the perilous journey both Yemenis and Ethiopians are making in search of a safe haven.

Russia Is Trying to Poach U.S.-Trained Rebels With ‘Unlimited’ Weapons in Syria. In a piece for The Daily Beast, Michael Weiss sheds light on a new Russian strategy in Syria—recruiting U.S. backed rebels to help fight ISIS and Jabhat Fatah al Sham, the jihadi group formerly known as al-Nusra.

Is It In Man’s Nature to Wage War? This Forbes article written by Luc De Keyser discusses the various theories offered in explaining why it is that humans fight one another.

On the blog

 International Humanitarian Law: A Primer for Professionals. Register for one of our upcoming one-day workshops. Audience members will learn to recognize and understand situations where international humanitarian law is applicable. CLE credits are available! Contact us at ihlaw@redcross.org to apply and obtain more information.

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