Terrorism threat level raised in Northern Ireland — and other international stories you may have missed
As reported by Reuters, the British intelligence service MI5 raised the terrorism threat level in Northern Ireland on Tuesday to “severe” — meaning an attack is considered “highly likely.” Northern Ireland Secretary of State Chris Heaton-Harris told the British parliament that there had been “an increase in levels of activity relating to Northern Ireland-related terrorism” in recent months.
In February, police officer John Caldwell suffered permanent injury after he was shot by two masked men. A splinter group of the Irish Republican Army — the New IRA — reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack. The new threat level brings Northern Ireland back up to the same threat levels it had been at for the last decade; the threat was downgraded in 2021.
Why it matters? April 7 will be the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, a peace treaty between the U.K. and the Republic of Ireland that ended three decades of sectarian violence. Deputy White House Press Secretary Olivia Dalton said the rise in threat level would not affect President Biden’s planned trip to Northern Ireland to attend anniversary-related events. When asked by White House reporters about the threat-level increase, Biden said, “They can’t keep me out.” Former President Bill Clinton, who was involved in the discussions of the 1998 peace treaty, and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, are also expected to travel to Northern Ireland next week.
Here are five other international news stories you may have missed this week from Yahoo News’ partner network.
Deadly fire at Mexican migrant center
This week has seen growing public outrage over a fire at a migrant center in Mexico that left 39 people dead, BBC News reported. Footage posted online, claiming to be from the center in Ciudad Juárez, appears to show security workers abandoning a group of men locked in a cell as the fire spreads. At least eight people are believed to be responsible for the fire, NBC News reported, citing Public Safety Secretary Rosa Icela Rodríguez.
Deadly disease outbreak in Equatorial Guinea
There has been an outbreak of Marburg disease in Equatorial Guinea, the Telegraph reported. Four cases have already been recorded in a city with a population of 200,000, sparking fears that the disease will spread to neighboring cities and countries in Central Africa. The virus is similar to Ebola and has an 88% mortality rate. According to the World Health Organization, Marburg spreads to humans from fruit bats and is transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids. The outbreak is believed to be the fourth largest spread of Marburg ever recorded.
Myanmar dissolves pro-democracy party, sparking concerns from U.S. and its allies
On Thursday, Reuters reported that the U.S., Britain, Australia and Japan expressed concerns over Myanmar’s military government disbanding Aung San Suu Kyi’s pro-democracy political party. The National League for Democracy (NLD), a former ruling party, as well as 39 other political parties were dissolved after missing an application deadline to register for the upcoming election. “Any election without the participation of all stakeholders in Burma would not be and can not be considered free or fair,” Vedant Patel, the U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson, told reporters.
Before Tuesday’s announcement, the NLD had already stated that it would not participate in the election. U Kyaw Htwe, a spokesman for the party, said that despite the announcement from the election commission, the NLD would continue to “exist.”
Lesotho debates territorial claim about neighboring South African land
Legislators in Lesotho debated a motion on Wednesday that could see the country claim a huge swath of land governed by South Africa, a much larger country that encircles Lesotho.
The view from South African officials is that the motion to reclaim territories some Basotho view as their own does not stand a chance of happening, because it does not enjoy the support of the majority in Lesotho.
One of the key stumbling blocks is the 1964 Cairo Declaration of the Organisation of African Unity, now the African Union, whereby African leaders agreed to recognise the existing borders of their newly independent countries, even if they were drawn up by colonial powers, to avoid stirring up conflict across the continent.
Vanuatu leads historic U.N. climate change resolution
On Wednesday, AFP reported that the U.N., led by the island nation Vanuatu, adopted a resolution calling on the International Court of Justice to outline legal obligations to countries relating to climate change. “Today we have witnessed a win for climate justice of epic proportions,” said Vanuatu Prime Minister Ishmael Kalsakau.
Vanuatu, a small archipelago located in the South Pacific, has been pushing the resolution for years, as it is the most vulnerable to climate change and the resulting rising sea levels. The new resolution will see the countries face legal consequences if they do not safeguard the climate.
“Together, you are making history,” United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said.