Jack Merlin Watling, 12 January 2015.
ONES TO WATCH
LIBYA: The last chance for a solution? Factions in Libya’s complex civil war have agreed to a new round of UN-backed negotiations to attempt to end the conflict. UN envoy Bernardino Leon wants parties to attempt to form a unity government, draft a new constitution and end hostilities. The meeting will take place this week in Geneva, but the UN did not name an exact date.
MONDAY 12 JANUARY 2015
UKRAINE: Ukraine, Russia and EU diplomats hold talks in Astana, Kazakhstan. Officials said the summit needs to prove “real progress” in implementing the Minsk peace accord, but locals in Ukraine’s east express doubts about it succeeding.
HAITI: Five years since an earthquake killed over 200,000 people, a political crisis is brewing. Mass protests in recent weeks have demanded the resignation of President Michel Martelly. When parliament’s mandate expires on Wednesday, Haiti could be left without a functioning government but with Martelly ruling by decree. That could spark violent opposition. Political instability has been a major factor stalling efforts to resettle thousands of Haitians left destitute after the 2010 quake which levelled much of the capital Port-au-Prince.
TUESDAY 13 JANUARY 2015
SRI LANKA: Pope Francis visits. Catholics are expecting the canonization of Blessed Joseph Vaz, an Indian priest who travelled to Sri Lanka as a missionary during the Dutch occupation.
EUROPE: European Parliament meets in Strasbourg. The EU’s high representative for foreign affairs, Federica Mogherini, will make a statement on the situation in Libya, while the Council and Commission will make statements on recent human trafficking incidents in the Mediterranean.
WEDNESDAY 14 JANUARY 2015
FRANCE: Charlie Hebdo goes to print. It’s the first edition since the deadly attack on the magazine on 7 January. A number of journalists are reported to have come forward to ensure the magazine is published as usual. This edition will have a print run of one million, instead of the usual 45,000.
INTERNATIONAL: Human Rights Watch releases report on Israel’s treatment of migrant workers. HRW argues that the Israeli authorities are violating the rights of foreign workers in the agricultural sector. Due to a failure to enforce labor laws and regulations, workers have inadequate housing and concerns have been raised about the effects on their health. Israel’s agricultural sector is supported by over 20,000 migrant workers from Thailand, few of whom enjoy the same rights as Israeli workers.
HONG KONG: Student leader Joshua Wong appears in court. Wong, one of the most prominent leaders of the Occupy Central protest movement, was arrested after being banned by a court from going near a cleared protest site. Wong, head of the Scholarism group, was arrested along with another popular leader, Lester Shum, second-in-command of the Hong Kong Federation of Students, and pro-democracy lawmaker Leung Kwok-hung.
Editing by Paul Raymond.