ICJ Rejects US Motion to Dismiss Iran Proceedings

February 20, 2019

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has rejected a US motion to dismiss proceedings brought by Iran to recover $2 billion in bank assets frozen by the US government during Iran’s 1979 revolution, finding that it has jurisdiction to decide the dispute.

NGO Encourages Sovereign Bond Investor Activism in EU

February 20, 2019

The International Federation for Human Rights has published a ranking of the human rights performance of EU member states to encourage sovereign bond investors to take this performance into account and to influence EU governments to improve their respect for a broad range of human rights.

American IS Brides Seek Repatriation to US

February 20, 2019

Two American women who traveled to Syria to support the Islamic State (IS) and married IS fighters now seek repatriation to the US after surrendering to anti-IS coalition forces, spotlighting concerns about radicalization and security associated with returning American citizens who collaborated with the jihadist organization.

EU Institutions Agree Restrictions on Truck Emissions

February 20, 2019

The European Parliament and Council have reached an agreement on EU legislation imposing new restrictions on truck and bus manufacturers seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heavy-duty vehicles by 30 percent by 2030 in line with the bloc’s Paris climate accord pledges.

 

Weekly Update

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  • WHO Creates Standard-Setting Body for Genome Editing

    February 21, 2019

    The World Health Organization has formed a committee to create uniform global standards governing the editing of the human genome, including “appropriate governance mechanisms” for the practice.

     
  • UN Agencies Seek “Citizenship Education” to Promote Rule of Law

    February 21, 2019

    The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have published a report on how schools around the world must promote the rule of law through “global citizenship education” programs that instill the UN’s sustainable development agenda in children.

     
  • OSCE Office Presses US on Voting Rights

    February 21, 2019

    In its report on the 2018 US congressional elections, the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights called on the US to give full representation rights to the District of Columbia and overseas territories and to grant voting rights to citizens with criminal records.

     
 
  • ILO Report: Digital Economy Is Undermining Labor Rights, Benefits

    February 22, 2019

    The International Labour Organization’s (ILO) World Employment and Social Outlook warns that new business models enabled by technology “threaten to undermine” labor rights by failing to provide formality and social protection to workers.

     
  • UN Panel Seeks Global Body to Set Mining Standards

    February 22, 2019

    The UN Environment Programme’s International Resource Panel has called on governments to develop “Strategic Plans” and institutions to govern the impacts of the mining industry and to launch an International Minerals Agency to develop global standards on mining and advance the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

     
  • UN Launches Hub on Biodiversity Impacts of Trade

    February 22, 2019

    The UN Environment Programme and a UK research fund recently launched a five-year project called the "Trade, Development and the Environment Hub" to research the impacts of international trade on biodiversity and make recommendations on how future trade deals can comply with the UN’s “sustainability” agenda.

     
 
  • EU Council Supports Restrictive Online Copyright Rules

    February 22, 2019

    Reuters reports that national officials from a majority of EU countries backed, over the objection of five member states, new copyright rules that will require internet companies including Facebook and Google to pay publishers to reproduce news snippets and to remove copyright-protected content from their platforms.

     
  • Spain Hinders Brexit Visa Rules with Gibraltar “Colony” Reference

    February 22, 2019

    The Guardian reports that the Spanish government has stymied legislation that would permit visa-free travel by UK visitors to the EU in case of a no-deal Brexit by including in the relevant legislation a reference to Gibraltar as a British “colony,” causing the European Parliament to reject the rules.

     
  • EU Officials Plan Extension of Airline Permissions in Case of No-Deal Brexit

    February 22, 2019

    Showing the ongoing efforts of EU and UK authorities to manage fallout from a no-deal Brexit, EU Reporter describes an agreement between the Presidency of the EU Council and the European Parliament on extending the permission of British airlines to provide service to the EU in case no withdrawal deal is agreed.

     
 
  • Intel Report: Iran Uses GPS Kits to Target Israel

    February 22, 2019

    According to a recent intelligence report by the British Israel Communication and Research Centre, Iran is transferring in suitcases GPS devices that can be weaponized for precision missile technology capable of striking Israel.

     
  • Sectarianism Affects Lebanon's Environment, Public Health

    February 21, 2019

    The metastasizing environmental and public health problems of Lebanon are overwhelmingly tied to policymaking gridlock caused by the effort of non-Shiite, non-Islamist parties to counter the growing dominance of the Iran-client Hezbollah Party in Lebanon's multi-confessional state.

     
  • EU Designates Saudi Arabia “High-Risk” for Terror Financing

    February 21, 2019

    The EU has designated Saudi Arabia as a "high-risk third country" because of "strategic deficiencies" in the Islamic theocracy's counter-terrorism regimes, underscoring growing transatlantic concerns about the continuing impact of Saudi Arabia's financing of global jihadist operations.